Northwest Arkansas is still experiencing a large number of cases of COVID-19.
As you’re making decisions about activities to join or to skip, here is a list of generally risky activities — and a list of safer choices.
- Shopping is medium to high risk. This is not because there could be live viruses on the products, but because this activity gets groups of people together in an enclosed space for a fairly long time. If you need to shop, make a list and get in and out quickly. Be sure to wear a mask, follow directions (such as staying in your place in line and heading in one direction in the aisles), and wash your hands before and after shopping. If you can, limit shopping to online shopping or curbside pickup.
- Family gatherings may seem safe, but they are one of the top ways people in Arkansas have caught COVID-19. Remember, people in your household are not the same folks as people in your family. Limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer, stay outdoors as much as possible, and keep visits short.
- Indoor exercise — like going to the gym or swimming in an indoor pool– are relatively high-risk activities. They keep you indoors with other people, maybe breathing hard, for over 15 minutes. Switch to outdoor exercise or work out at home instead.
- Eating indoors in restaurants. Right now, it’s safer to carry out food, pick it up at curbside, or have it delivered. Eating outdoors at tables six feet apart is also less risky than eating indoors.
- Going to movies, concerts, and other indoor events is risky right now. The more time you spend near other people in closed spaces, the more likely you are to catch COVID-19. Consider a drive-in movie, an outdoor concert, or a visit to a botanical garden or other outdoor attraction, weather permitting. MANA doctors would recommend worship from home rather than “in-person” church.
- Exercise outdoors with members of your household. Take your dog for a walk, bike with your family, or work in your garden. Getting outside is good for your health and your mood. Wear a mask if you’re near people who are not in your household — carry one in case you need it. You don’t have to mask up if you’re by yourself; the coronavirus doesn’t linger in the air outdoors.
- Schedule grocery delivery or pick-up. Going grocery shopping indoors is risky, but picking up your groceries is not. It takes a little work and planning to order your groceries a few days ahead of time. Wear your mask when the attendant brings the groceries to your car and pop the trunk. The grocery attendant will do the rest.
- Get take-out curbside from your favorite local restaurants. Support your local restaurants and have a break from cooking. Check out a list of Fayetteville restaurants offering take out or a Northwest Arkansas list. Services like Doordash or Grubhub can also deliver meals safely to your home.
- Watch a concert online and support your favorite musicians. You can get fun snacks and drinks ready to enjoy the music with your special someone.
- Rent a movie online to enjoy with your household. Make popcorn and get your favorite treats. You can even build a pillow fort to make it extra special for the kids (or the kid in you). There are services that allow you to watch together virtually with other households, too. Use Zoom or specialized apps.
Reducing Your Risk
If you choose to participate in a higher risk activity, you can reduce your risk by practicing proven prevention methods. Many of us have work or school commitments that require higher-risk situations. If that’s your situation, follow the recommendations below to minimize risk.
Wear a mask that fits well with three layers of fabric, or for the best protection choose an N-95 mask. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often and keep a distance of two arm lengths (6 feet) between yourself and anyone outside your household.