With all the safety advice doled out during the pandemic, you surely know to wear your face covering, was your hands regularly and practice social distancing. Whether or not you’re doing those things, however, is another matter—and same goes for your fellow Americans. With record-setting coronavirus cases in many states, authorities are becoming more firm about safety guidelines, and more worried every time you leave the house.
“Officials are urging residents to stay home, wear face masks and keep their distance after alarming coronavirus trends have emerged across several US states,” reports CNN. “California recorded a striking 5,019 new cases on Monday—topping the state’s daily case record for the fourth time over the past week. In Florida, officials announced 3,289 confirmations in a day. And Arizona saw 3,591 new cases in a day. In Texas, health authorities have said new cases and hospitalizations are rising at their fastest rate yet—a rate that Gov. Greg Abbott called ‘unacceptable.’ The state reported more than 5,000 cases in a single day, breaking their previous record.”
The #1 Safest Place to Be
We know it’s the last thing you want to hear, given that you associate staying indoors with the start of the pandemic, but the safest place to be right now—no matter what state you’re in—is at home. Every time you leave the house, you expose yourself to coronavirus risk.
“COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period,” explains the CDC. “Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.”
That means you could get your hair done, or have a check cashed, or have a meal served by someone who looks totally healthy—but isn’t. Furthermore, “it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes….COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sunlight, humidity, and the type of surface. Social distancing helps limit opportunities to come in contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people outside the home.”
“Because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home. Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home,” Gov. Abbott told CNN affiliate KBTX. This was the man who originally pushed for an early reopening. He said further restrictions may be enforced if the outbreak in his state continues.
Half the Country is Seeing a Spike
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 26 states are seeing a rise in cases compared to the previous week: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Other states—like the onetime epicenter New York and New Jersey—are seeing cases and deaths decline—but have just started phases of reopening.
No matter where you live, understand that preventing the spread of COVID-19 is in your (thoroughly washed) hands. “Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19,” reports the CDC. “Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.” And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.