Recent headlines about changing coronavirus advisories might make you feel like you’re not on top of the latest best practices to avoid contracting COVID-19. Perhaps in an acknowledgment of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a list of “six C’s” you should consider to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The CDC’s deputy director, Jay Butler, described them during an online workshop with the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read on to find out what they are, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have been repeating this piece of advice for months: Avoid large gatherings wherever you can, especially in closed spaces like bars.
Practice consistent social distancing. When you’re out in public, stay at least six feet away from people who don’t live in your household.
Spending more time with people who are infected seems to increase the likelihood that coronavirus will spread. Butler shared data taken from 154 people who’d recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, versus 160 who’d tested negative: 42% of people who’d tested positive said they’d recently had close contact with someone who had COVID, versus only 14% of the negative group. Secondary attack rates are generally greatest in household contacts,” Butler said. “The risk appears to be lower in other interpersonal contacts, including sharing a meal. Passing interactions while shopping appear to be much, much lower risk.”
Wear a face mask consistently whenever you’re in public and practice good mask hygiene: Put it on with clean hands, take it off by touching only the ear straps or strings, and discard disposable masks or wash cloth masks after one use. “The message should be, ‘Wear a mask, period,'” Fauci said on July 7. Studies indicate it can reduce the risk of infection anywhere from 50 to 80%.
This new C takes into account evidence that coronavirus may spread more easily in cooler environments; that may at least partially explain several outbreaks in meat-processing facilities early in the pandemic. “Cooler temperatures in the work environment may help to facilitate transmission because SARS-CoV2 is viable for longer periods at lower temperatures,” Butler said. A June study published in the journal Physics of Fluids found that higher temperatures and lower humidity make droplets of coronavirus dry out more quickly on surfaces.
Another one of Fauci’s mantras is “outdoors is better than indoors.” “If you look at the super-spreader events that have occurred … they’re almost always inside,” said Fauci on Aug. 13. “in nursing homes, meat-packing, prisons, choirs, in churches, congregations of weddings and other social events where people get together. It’s almost invariable.”
He added: “When you are indoors, make sure you have a mask. When you’re outdoors, keep the mask on.”
As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 37 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.