Think you're the only one wanting to head to the beach for Labor Day weekend? Think again. The first tip for staying safe is to plan ahead. Expect typical locations for gatherings and celebrations to be crowded. This includes public parks, beaches, swimming pools, amusement parks, and any other usual holiday spots. But that doesn't mean you can't have any fun. Just make sure you can maintain safe Coronoavirus practices by planning ahead. There are still a ton of things you can do while practicing social distance. This is the year for virtual celebrations, small backyard gatherings, and tiny meetups in off-the-beaten-path locations.
Speaking of social distancing, Labor Day is no excuse for ignoring safe Coronavirus practices. Memorial Day Weekend and 4th of July both saw spikes of coronavirus cases due to people disregarding health warnings. “Right now, this epidemic is driven by behavior,” said Brad Pollock, chair of the UC Davis Health Department of Public Health Sciences. “It’s not a lack of tests or therapeutics. It’s behavior. We can slow COVID-19 if we all work together.” We all have to do our part by making social distancing a priority this Labor Day weekend. Remember to stay at least 6 feet away from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
In the days of "the new normal," make sure you pack plenty of items to help keep you healthy and safe when you head out. Wherever you decide to celebrate Labor Day, remember it's hot. Between sweat, summertime bbq, and seasonal treats - that mask is bound to get icky. Do yourself a favor, and pack extras. Hand sanitizer is another must-have to help keep hands germ free. The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. And for airplane tray tables, picnic tables, and other table-top surfaces, be sure to have some alcohol-based, disinfectant wipes on hand. Other great items to have on hand include multipurpose cleaners, disposable gloves, and zip lock bags (for keeping masks and other items germ-free).
Health alert! Even without coronavirus, germs are everywhere. One of the most common ways germs are transferred to other people and objects is through hand contact. So it only makes sense that one of the most important steps you can take in preventing the spread of germs and sickness is through regular handwashing. If you're unable to use soap and water while you're out and about, hand sanitizer is the next best thing. While sanitizer has its limits, it's portable and can kill most microorganisms by killing germs on contact. But it's also important to note that even when using products with at least 60% alcohol, sanitizer can't eliminate all germs. So it shouldn't replace hand washing. And while we're on the subject of washing - frequently touched objects should be disinfected as well. Coronavirus can live on objects and surfaces for up to three days. The virus can also be transmitted when two or more individuals touch the infected area. So do yourself a favor, and be sure to wash and disinfect any objects or surfaces you use.
The safest holiday event during Coronavirus is a virtual event. But if you insist on attending or hosting a Labor Day event for the holiday weekend, it's important to keep a few things in mind. The risk of becoming infected increases based on the size of the gathering. So the larger the gathering - the greater the risk. Do everyone a favor and keep any Labor Day celebrations small, intimate, and short to reduce the risk of infection or spread of disease. Another important aspect of a safe holiday weekend is to keep activities outdoors as much as possible. If you're hosting, be sure to use disposable plates, cups, and utensils. And while sharing is caring, avoid sharing food. Remember social distancing is still important even if you're outdoors. That also means that high-risk family members and friends should attend virtually to remain safe.