7 Ways to Enjoy Summer Safely During COVID-19

Published: July 08, 2020

Michael Parry, MD, Director, Department of Infectious Diseases and Asha Shah, MD, Associate Director, Department of Infectious Diseases

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Summer is upon us and COVID-19 cases have decreased in much of Connecticut. We’ve seen the state enter two phases of reopening and many of our friends and neighbors are out and about basking in the warmer weather.

You may be thinking about a stay-cation in Fairfield or Westchester County, or traveling for summer fun. There’s no argument we could all use some rest and relaxation after these last few challenging months.

What’s safe, and what’s not, when it comes to enjoying summer during COVID-19?

If your main goal is to protect yourself and others from getting sick, staying home is your best bet. Travel does increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 to others. We are not out of the woods yet and still need to exercise an abundance of caution.

There are still ways to safely take advantage of summer! Here are some tips adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

1. Wear your mask in public.
If you’re in a public place like a grocery store, or at a restaurant, you still need to wear a mask whenever possible to help prevent the spread of disease.

Sure, wearing a mask while trying to vacation takes some getting used to, but get creative with fabric and designs to go along with your theme. Learn how to make your own no-sew face masks.

2. Pack the essentials.
Whether you’re going on a day trip or a week-long adventure, pack the following items:

  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces
  • Masks or cloth face coverings
  • Medication to last your entire trip
  • Food and water for your trip. Consider non-perishable food to minimize time spent at restaurants and stores.

3. If you’re traveling, do your research on restrictions.
If you’re going outside of the tristate area, make sure you follow both state and local guidelines.

  • Stay up to date by checking the state or local health department website for your destination. See where COVID-19 continues to spread here.
  • Remember, COVID-19 is still an ever-changing situation, so some states may change their requirements about sheltering in place for tourists coming in or leaving. Here is Connecticut’s.
  • When in doubt, consider purchasing trip insurance that takes the above factors into account.

4. Stay outside as much as possible.
Not only is the great outdoors good for your emotional and physical well being—but staying outside is less risky as long as you still maintain your distance and avoid large crowds. Think: nature walk, hike or a quiet stroll along the beach. If social distancing is not possible while outdoors, be sure to wear your mask or face cloth covering. 

5. Do your research about hotels.
Ask the hotel about their prevention practices, including:

  • Cleaning and sanitation of high-touch surfaces such as ATMs, tables, doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • Social distancing and mask requirements.
  • Partitions at check-in, or contactless check-in options all together.
  • Room service, contactless food delivery and outdoor dining options.
  • Hotel staff and workforce screening policies. 

6. Remember, wherever you go, follow the 4 Ws:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash or sanitize your hands
  • Watch your distance
  • Wipe down surfaces     

7. Make the best, and most, of it.
Having to postpone or cancel an international adventure, cruise or large family reunion is disappointing. But this isn’t forever. It’s the time with your loved ones that truly counts.

As the saying goes, “Live for today.” Have a happy, safe and healthy summer.

Featured Expert/ Author

Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine

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