ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There's more to do outside with pools and beaches open, and it's good timing for the first "unofficial" weekend of summer.
But it's not time yet to let down your guard.
Dr. Michael Teng, a virologist and a professor at USF, says when it comes to protecting yourself from COVID-19 coronavirus in social settings -- like being out at the beach -- it really comes down to two things: time and space.
With time, he says if you're just seeing someone in passing, you're less likely to be infected than if you spend a bunch of time talking with them. So, if you're planning on being out at the beach or at a pool, it's not a bad idea to have a time limit that you'll be there.
With space, think about the social distancing you've heard so much about. If it's hard to be 6 feet away from other people, make sure you're wearing a mask. Teng said if you're just with family that you live with already and you're not near other people, it's OK to take your mask off for a little bit.
Just make sure you're doing that properly.
"So the key part is sanitize your hands, and then the masks -- they go over your ears, so if you only touch the ears you're going to be OK. So don't the front or the backside of it, unless your hands are clean," Teng said.
Teng thinks people are beginning to understand our new normal, with that guidance you’ve been hearing from the CDC: stay 6 feet apart, don’t gather in groups and wear a mask.
"For the most part, I think people have been pretty good about social distancing. I think people understand, this is a problem, especially people in high-risk populations, they should really be careful because this has been a severe disease and deadly for some people," he said.
And wearing a mask and social distancing aren't a replacement for good hygiene. Make sure you're washing your hands thoroughly and frequently --especially before you eat.
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