When COVID-19 first began spreading across the United States, health experts were very concerned about infections occurring outside of the home. Workplaces, schools, grocery stores, shopping centers, and public transportation were considered some of the riskiest spots for transmission. However, this fall and winter, things have shifted and experts are more concerned about what is going on inside the home instead of outside of it.
During a Thursday press conference in Connecticut, Dr. Deborah Birx, of the key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned that as the temperatures drop, more people are becoming infected by friends and family than by strangers. This is likely due to the fact that when people leave the house they are following the fundamentals — such as mask wearing, social distancing, and practicing hand hygiene, but when around their loved ones they tend to let down their guard. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
The Virus is Spreading “In Homes and Social Occasions”
“The spread of the virus now is not occurring so much in the workplace as people have taken precautions,” she explained.
“It’s happening in homes and social occasions and people gathering and taking their mask off and letting down their guard and not physically distancing,” said Birx.
As the season progresses, it makes it even more important to take prevention methods seriously and be aware of any situations that could result in mass infections.
“This is the moment to really increase asymptomatic testing, increase outreach to the communities, making sure that every community member knows that if they’re with individuals outside of their household, it could be a COVID-spreading event,” Birx said. “Physically distancing and masks work, even indoors.”
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How to Limit Your Risk of COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently added guidance warning people of the potential for spread at family holiday events. “In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk,” they wrote, urging people to take into consider various factors including community levels of COVID-19, whether the event is taking place outdoors versus indoors, the duration of the gathering, how many people will be attending, where those people are coming from, and the behavior of those people prior to and during the event.
They also advise people who are at high risk—including older people and those who are immunocompromised—to “avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household,” altogether and to “avoid larger gatherings and consider attending activities that pose lower risk (as described throughout this page) if you decide to attend an in-person gathering with people who do not live in your household.” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.