Stay safe from COVID-19 this holiday weekend

Jorge Salinas, MD, an infectious disease specialist and head of epidemiology at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, recently shared with news media some important tips for staying safe during the holiday weekend.

He also shared information about the local COVID-19 transmission trends we’re seeing at UI Health Care.

Don't forget these 5 easy tips for celebrating:

If gathering is necessary, make sure you're doing so as safely as possible. Keep activities outdoors. Remember your safety best practices:

1. Enjoy the great outdoors

If gathering is necessary, socialize outside. It allows for great social distancing and because of greater airflow, the risk of transmitting COVID-19 is much lower than inside. Maintain distance between yourself and others. Two arm's length or 6 feet is recommended.

2. Limit your social circle

If gathering, limit your social circle to family or a small group of neighbors or friends who are following the same habits as your family. It will be easier to maintain your safety standards and you will not feel awkward about it.

3. Use a face mask

Use a face mask, especially when other social distancing strategies are difficult to maintain.

4. Don't share eating utensils, food, or drinks

Avoid drinking from the same cups and eating off the same plates as others. Bring your own food and drink instead of sharing.

5. Wash your hands often

Wash your hands after you have been in a public place or touched shared surfaces. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. You can wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.