Crowded places are reopening: Know your COVID risks – Consumer Health News

FRIDAY, Feb. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Many people have been waiting more than two years for the chance to hear live music and rewatch the sport in person, but if you’re planning on attending events, you should always protect yourself from COVID, says expert.

“We’re doing much better and our viral numbers are improving rapidly and dramatically, so that’s very encouraging,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, executive vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“However, we are still in a very high prevalence environment. People should continue to be cautious, particularly if they are in relatively high-risk groups or are regularly exposed to high-risk individuals,” he said. – he added in a press release from Baylor. Release.

You should always consider wearing a hide in a crowded indoor environment, and the best choice is an N95, KN95 or a surgical mask. If you can’t get them, wear a double-layered cloth mask, McDeavitt said.

It’s also important to assess your risk based on your health and location.

If you are not vaccinated and have not received a booster, get vaccinated and remember. If you’re planning to go to a big event with a group, ask group members if they’re vaccinated and boosted and encourage others around you to get vaccinated, McDeavitt advised.

He noted that during the Omicron vague, unvaccinated people accounted for a disproportionate number of patients who became seriously ill, while those who were vaccinated and boosted were largely protected against serious illness.

Assess the risk among those close to you: family, friends, colleagues and anyone else you are in regular contact with. Maintain a higher degree of caution if they are at risk.

If you live with or have frequent contact with an elderly relative, someone who has a serious illness, or someone with a weakened immune system, you should understand that they are at high risk. Consider avoiding large events or wearing a mask to avoid catching and spreading the virus to them, McDeavitt suggested.

You should also be careful if you work in an environment where you are regularly exposed to high-risk people, such as nursing homes, health care facilities, or nursing homes.

Before you go to an event, check with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to find the rate of coronavirus cases in your county. When it’s below 100 cases per 100,000 people over seven days, you’re much less likely to come across an infected person – and the lower the rate, the lower your risk.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not go to crowded places. You should also be aware that if an event does not require COVID-19 testing, attendees do not need to get tested before or after the event unless they have symptoms.

“Learning to live with the virus doesn’t mean we ignore it and pretend it’s not here. It’s about taking personal responsibility to use the tools available to be as safe as possible while going about our lives. occupations,” McDeavitt said. “We need to start opening up public events and letting individuals do their own risk-benefit calculation of whether attending is the right thing for them.”

More information

To learn more about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, see the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCE: Baylor College of Medicine, press release, February 23, 2022

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