The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed our lives and the way our community functions. Without a doubt, trying to maintain a normal routine is difficult. It’s even more challenging for individuals with chronic diseases and disorders. As New York reopens in phases, the rules are shifting for what people can and can’t do in their daily lives. Here are a few resources to help you plan, prepare, and cope with personal and social activities.
strong>What You Need to Know
• Stay home if you’re sick.
• Wear a face mask or covering when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
• Follow social distancing guidelines (stay at least 6 feet away from others).
• Before you go out, call and ask what extra prevention strategies they are using, like requiring staff to wear cloth face coverings.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
strong>Tips for Dining at a Restaurant
Check the restaurant’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go.
• Check the restaurant’s website and social media to see if they have updated their information to address any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
• Before you go to the restaurant, call and ask if all staff are wearing face coverings.
• Ask about options for self-parking to remove the need for valet service.
Take steps to protect yourself at the restaurant.
• Wear a face covering when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
• Take precautions – like wearing a face covering as much as possible when not eating and maintaining a proper social distance if you are dining with others who don’t live with you.
• Maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more in any entryway, hallway, or waiting area.
• When possible, sit outside at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from other people.
• When feasible, choose food and drink options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, handles, buttons, or touchscreens.
Clean your hands.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
• Before using the restroom, make sure there are adequate soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
strong>Tips for Hosting Gatherings or Cook-Outs
Remind guests to stay home if they are sick.
• Remind guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or show COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
• Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.
Encourage social distancing.
• Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
• Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.
• If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
• When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead, wave and verbally greet them.
Wear face coverings.
• Wear face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.
• Consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.
Clean your hands often.
• Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
• Ensure adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
• Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
• Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands, so guests do not share a towel.
Limit the number of people handling or serving food.
• Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
• Limit the number of people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
• If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
• Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling them.
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.
• Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
• Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
• If you choose to use any shared things that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
strong>Tips for Going to the Nail Salon
Prepare for your appointment.
• Book services in advance to remove the need for waiting in a lobby with other people. If you must wait, maintain social distance.
• Before you go, call and ask if all staff are wearing face coverings at work and if there are physical barriers to minimize the risk of transmission (e.g., plexiglass barriers).
• If offered by the salon, wait in your car or outside until you can be contacted when it is your turn to be seen for an appointment.
Wear a face covering.
• Wear a face covering at all times when inside the salon.
Wash your hands often and limit contact with common surfaces or items.
• Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before receiving your service and after touching any common surfaces like curing lamps, countertops, doorknobs, toilets, tables, light switches, phones, faucets, sinks, and keyboards.
• Use cashless payment options when possible. If not available, ensure that cash and cards are handled with care by employees either by changing gloves between each transaction or hand sanitizer between clients.
• Look for no-touch wastebaskets at the cash registers and in the restrooms.
strong>Tips for Traveling Overnight
Check the hotel’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go.
• Use options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment.
• Before you go, call and ask if all staff are wearing face coverings at work.
• Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby.
• Ask if the hotel has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, business center computers and printers, ice/vending machines, and remote controls).
Wear face coverings and limit close contact with others.
• Wear a face covering in the lobby or other common areas.
• Minimize use of areas that may lead to close contact (within 6 feet) with other people as much as possible, like break rooms, outside patios, inside lounging areas, dining areas/kitchens, game rooms, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spas, salons, and fitness centers.
• Consider taking the stairs. Otherwise, wait to use the elevator until you can either ride alone or only with people from your household.
Choose contactless options, when possible.
• Request contactless delivery for any room service order.
• If you are considering cleaning your travel lodgings, see CDC’s guidance on how to clean and disinfect.
Protect yourself and others when you travel away from your community.
• For more information about safely planning travel during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit CDC’s Considerations for Travel in the US.
strong>Tips for Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities
• Parks and recreational facilities can offer health benefits, but you must take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Learn what you can do to stay safe when visiting parks and recreational facilities.
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
When and How to Wash Your Hands
Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Considerations for Restaurants and Bars
Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19