I'm considered at-risk for COVID-19. How can I visit my loved ones in a safe way?
One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken away from us is the ability to see our loved ones in person, as we try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow preventive measures such as social distancing and sheltering in place. If you are considering visiting your loved ones in person, here are some things to consider that might help make your visit as safe as possible:
Know when to delay or cancel a visit. Delay or cancel a visit if you or your hosts have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. If you or your hosts have tested positive for COVID-19, you should cancel the visit. Anyone who has come into close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms. You may be at an increased risk of getting severe illness from COVID-19 due to your pre-existing medical condition.
As a general rule, your level of risk increases as you interact with more people, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. When you plan to visit loved ones safely, it is good to know ahead of time how many people with whom you will be interacting, whether you will be staying indoors or outdoors, and how long the visit will be.
Practice social distancing during your visit, even with family and friends you trust. It is recommended to meet your friends and family outdoors, such as a backyard or a nearby park. If this is not feasible, make sure that that room or space is well-ventilated and big enough so you can maintain social distancing. Open windows or doors. Arrange tables and chairs at least six feet apart, if possible.
Consider activities where social distancing can be maintained. Look for alternatives to physical contact when greeting your loved ones. Keep wearing your personal protective equipment such as face masks or cloth face covering, and ask your friends and family to do the same. If they are aware of your underlying medical conditions, they should understand that you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and they should help keep you safe.
Keep a record of people you visit or who visited you. This will be helpful with contact tracing in the event that you or your loved ones get COVID-19.