In preparation for the Fourth of July holiday, it may be tempting to ease restrictions and relax certain safety precautions in an effort to enjoy summertime. But it is more important than ever to remain vigilant about COVID-19 and continue to follow recommended safety guidelines in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are four ways you can keep yourself and your family safe during the upcoming holiday weekend.
1. Keep activities and celebrations outside.
Because the coronavirus predominantly spreads, or transmits, from person-to-person through respiratory droplets in the air, sustained time indoors with others means you’re more at risk of catching the virus.1
Ventilation and fresh air, therefore, are key to keeping your risk of infection low. With this in mind, keep July 4th activities and celebrations outside as much as possible.
2. Wear a face covering.
Face masks and coverings are to protect you, the wearer, but also everyone around you.2 Respiratory droplets can fly out of our mouths when we cough or sneeze, but also when we talk, laugh, or sing. By wearing a face covering—even a homemade, cloth one—you can significantly reduce these potentially infectious particles from leaving your mouth and spreading around to others.3
So, when you’re out and about, wear a face covering. It’s a simple act that protects both yourself and others.
3. Maintain a safe social distance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the droplets that we release into the air through our mouths can travel up to six feet.4 In addition to wearing a mask and sticking to outdoor activities while socializing, it’s important to keep some distance between yourself and others as much as possible.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. Try some socially distanced backyard games like bocce ball, lawn darts, or cornhole. Meet up for a picnic at the park, go for a bike ride, or enjoy a nearby hike.
4. Avoid large groups and gatherings.
The more people you surround yourself with, the harder it is to remain a safe distance apart, and the greater the risk of spreading the coronavirus.1 It’s advised to keep your July Fourth activities and celebrations small this year.
Instead of venturing out in search of a fireworks show—which could mean standing in crowds of people—watch them virtually instead from the comfort of your own home. Check to see if your local community will be live-streaming any fireworks shows, or, invite some close friends over for backyard festivities instead. And rather than go out to eat at a restaurant, host a small cookout with your neighbors.
Rest assured, you and your family can still enjoy many summertime activities. Be sure to stay safe and cautious while doing so and continue to follow any local restrictions in addition to recommended safety guidelines.
1. cdc.gov. How COVID-19 Spreads. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html.
2. Keung Cheng, Kar; Hing Lam, Tai; Chiu Leung, Chi. Wearing face masks in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: altruism and solidarity. The Lancet, April 16, 2020. Available at: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30918-1/fulltext
3. cdc.gov. About Cloth Face Coverings. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html.
4. cdc.gov. Considerations for Events and Gatherings. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/considerations-for-events-gatherings.html.