Skip to Content

NorthShore’s online source for timely health and wellness news, inspiring patient stories and tips to lead a healthy life.

Healthy You

Venturing Out? The CDC Releases Guidelines to Keep You Safe

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 10:02 AM

By: Lauren McRae

You may be thinking about venturing outside your quarantine bubble now that communities are slowly reopening. Before you go out, read through these tips from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for reducing your risk of coronavirus infection. The general rule to remember is: The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

CDC Guidelines

What to consider before you go out:

  • How many people will you interact with?
  • Interacting with more people raises your risk.
  • Being in a group with people who aren’t social distancing or wearing cloth face masks increases your risk.
  • Engaging with new people (e.g., those who don’t live with you) also raises your risk.
  • Some people have the virus and don’t have any symptoms, and it is not yet known how often people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others.
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others? Will you be outdoors or indoors?
  • The closer you are to other people who may be infected, the greater your risk of getting sick.
  • Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
  • Indoor spaces are riskier than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
  • What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people? 
  • Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected.
  • Spending more time with people increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected. 

Is COVID spreading in my community?
Find out by viewing the latest information and a map of states with reported COVID-19 infections.

What are the local orders in my community?
Review updates from your local health department to better understand the situation in your community and what local orders are in place in your community.

Will my activity put me in close contact with other people?

  • It’s important that you and the people around you wear a cloth face covering when in public and particularly when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet away from others consistently.
  • Choose outdoor activities and places where it’s easy to stay 6 feet apart, like parks and open-air facilities.
  • Look for physical barriers, like Plexiglas screens or modified layouts, that help you keep your distance from others.
  • Use visual reminders—like signs, chair arrangements, markings on the floor, or arrows—to help remind you to keep your distance from others.

Will I have to share any items, equipment, or tools with other people?
Choose places where there is limited sharing of items and where any items that are shared are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses. You can also choose to visit places that share, post, or announce that they have increased cleaning and disinfection to protect others from COVID-19.

Will I need to take public transportation to get to the activity?
Public transit can put you in close contact with others. When using public transportation, follow the CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation.

For more guidelines on eating out, using gyms and fitness centers, or going to the bank, nail salons or libraries, visit COVID-19: Personal and Social Activities | CDC