Staying Safe this Summer During COVID-19

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How To Assess Your Personal Risk

As the city reopens, many residents are looking for ways to enjoy the summer while staying as safe as possible.

The good news is that Massachusetts has experienced a sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since Memorial Day. At the same time, testing has become more widely available and since early June, the positivity rate among Cambridge residents seeking molecular (viral) testing has remained at or below 1%.

The numbers are moving in the right direction and they speak to the commitment of residents and businesses to ensure the health of our community.  But until there is an effective vaccine or treatment, the threat of a COVID-19 resurgence in Cambridge and Massachusetts remains real. 

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and the best way to contain it is for all of us who live, work, and play in Cambridge to remain vigilant about physical distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings, and taking other precautions.

Because there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and consider your own personal situation in making decisions about socializing with friends and family this summer. In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The graph above provides some guidance for determining, and reducing, your risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this useful guidance for thinking about personal risk: 

  • How many people will you interact with? Interacting with more people raises your risk. Being in a group with people who aren’t physical distancing or wearing cloth face coverings increases your risk.
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others? The closer you are to other people, especially if they are  infected, the greater your risk of getting sick. Keeping distance from other people is especially important for people who have an increased risk for severe illness. It is important to remember that someone could be infected with COVID-19 and not display symptoms or know that they are sick.
  • Will you be outdoors or indoors? Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
  • What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people? Spending more time with people who may be infected increases your risk of becoming infected. It also increases their risk of becoming infected if there is any chance that you may already be infected.

And remember, wearing a mask or face covering remains an important and highly effective precaution against COVID-19, especially if you cannot remain at least 6’ from someone else.
The CDC also has specific advice for visiting parks and recreational facilities and social activities, such as eating at restaurants, hosting cookouts, and traveling.

 
Page was posted on 7/5/2020 5:32 PM
Page was last modified on 7/5/2020 5:33 PM
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