Previously overcrowded venues are reopening: be aware of your COVID dangers.
Many people have been waiting over two years to hear live music and see sports in person again, but experts stress that if you plan to attend events, you need still to protect yourself from COVID.
Dr. James McDeavitt, executive vice president and dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said, “We’re doing considerably better and our viral levels are improving rapidly and significantly, so that’s really encouraging.”
“However, we’re still dealing with a high-prevalence situation. People should remain vigilant, especially if they belong to high-risk groups or are regularly exposed to high-risk individuals “In a Baylor news release, he noted.
In a crowded indoor setting, you should still consider wearing a mask, and the best options are an N95, KN95, or surgical mask. If you can’t get these, McDeavitt recommends using a double-layer fabric mask.
It’s also crucial to consider your risk factors, such as your health and where you live.
Get the vaccine and booster if you haven’t been immunized and boosted. If you plan to attend a major event with a group, McDeavitt suggests asking members of the group if they are vaccinated and boosted and encouraging others to do the same.
Unvaccinated people accounted for a disproportionate number of patients who were critically ill during the Omicron wave, whereas those who were vaccinated and boosted were mostly protected against critical disease.
Evaluate the risk in your immediate circle, including family, friends, coworkers, and anybody else with whom you have regular contact. If they’re in danger, exercise greater caution.
You should be aware that if you live with or have frequent contact with an elderly relative, someone with a major medical condition, or someone with a weaker immune system, they are at high risk. To avoid contracting the illness and spreading it to others, McDeavitt recommends avoiding large events or wearing a mask.
If you work in a place where you are regularly exposed to persons who are at risk, such as nursing homes, health care facilities, or retirement centers, you should exercise caution.
Before attending an event, look out for the coronavirus case rate in your county on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. You’re considerably less likely to encounter an infected person if the incidence is below 100 instances per 100,000 population every seven days—and the lower the rate, the lower your risk.
Avoid crowded settings if you have COVID-19 symptoms. You should also be aware that unless you have symptoms, you do not need to get tested before or after an event if COVID-19 testing is not required.
“Learning to live with the virus does not imply that we ignore it or act as if it does not exist. It’s accepting personal responsibility for making the best use of the tools at our disposal in order to be as safe as possible while we go about our daily lives “According to McDeavitt.
“We need to start opening up public events and allowing people to make their own risk-benefit assessments of whether or not attending is a good idea for them.”