- The Washington Times - Friday, July 3, 2020

As the holiday weekend kicks off, health officials are offering tips for how to celebrate safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

D.C. Health has published a guidance for how to host private gatherings such as cookouts and offered some of the following tips:

  • No gathering should include more than 50 people.
  • Consider the amount of space available and the ability to physically distance during the event.
  • Outdoor activities are better than indoor, but also note that the more people in any space increases the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Wear a face mask, practice good hand hygiene and maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Remind guests to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Don’t host a gathering if you are sick, have been exposed, or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 could include fever (of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Provide plenty of soap and water and hand sanitizers for guests. Consider setting up hand hygiene stations at various locations.
  • Keep a list of guests who attended in case it’s needed for contact tracing.
  • Arrange seating to promote social distancing. Organize groups of people by households and keep groups at least 6 feet apart. No more than six people should be seated in a group.
  • Avoid shaking hands and physical contact with people from different households. Wave instead to greet people.
  • Plan activities for adults and kids where you can physically distance such as frisbee and sidewalk chalk art.
  • Limit the use of shared items such as sports or game equipment.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands.
  • Use touchless garbage cans. Wear gloves when removing garbage bags or handling trash. Wash hands before and after removing gloves.
  • Avoid sharing food and utensils and congregating around areas with food.
  • Limit the number of people handling or serving food.
  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and shared items between use.
  • Wash, clean and sanitize reusable items such as tablecloths and linen napkins after the event.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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