How Are Group Interactions Impacting COVID-19
Are group interactions impacting COVID-19 and it’s spread? As our communities undertake measures to reopen businesses and reactivate our economies, we need to consider how our daily activities impact the success of these efforts.
The first thing we need to come to terms with is the fact that nothing we do will guarantee zero risks of infection. For this reason, it’s important to understand how our daily interactions can put us at risk and which prevention measures can help protect us.
How Does the Virus Spread?
We are still learning a lot from this virus. However, scientists believe SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person mostly through respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
These droplets are typically small and not always noticeable. Because of their size, they can readily travel through the air and land in our hands, mouths, or noses where we can accidentally inhale them into our lungs.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
How Can Group Interactions Put You at Risk
In general, the more closely and longer your interaction with others is, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.
There are other factors of social interaction that can raise our risk of infection, such as:
- The more people you interact with, the higher your risk of infection will be
- Being in a group where people aren’t social distancing or wearing face coverings significantly increases your risk
- Engaging with people who are not part of your usual social unit (e.g., those that live with you) can also raise your risk of contagion
- Not everyone who has the virus has symptoms. The closer you are to other individuals who may be infected and not know it, the higher your risk of getting sick
- Social interaction indoors where it might be harder to keep people apart, and proper ventilation might be an issue, tends to be riskier than group interaction taking place outdoors
Things to Consider Before You Participate in A Group Gathering
Before deciding to rejoin group activities, there are things to consider that can help minimize your risk of infection.
Keep Yourself Informed
Follow updates from local health officials to understand the situation in your community. You can check
Review updates issued by your local health department to know how the virus is spreading in your town. You can search The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directory to find resources in your community.
Know Your Risk Factors
Everyone experiences the disease differently. Some people who have the virus never develop symptoms; others only experience mild ones, while others might get severely ill.
Certain groups, including older adults and people of any age who have chronic underlying medical conditions, have a higher risk for severe illness and developing complications from COVID-19.
Additionally, you need to consider if someone in your household has an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you live with older adults or someone how has heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, then you and your family should take extra precautions to minimize risk.
Wash Your Hands, Keep Your Distance, And Wear a Mask
As a rule, you should continue to follow the general prevention guidelines, which include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water several times a day
- Maintaining a distance of at least 6-feet between you and others
- Wearing a moisture-resistant face mask when out in public
At Altus Emergency Centers, we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community closely. All our facilities follow strict prevention protocols that exceed those suggested by local and federal healthcare agencies.
Our patient’s safety and welling continue to be our top priority; for this reason, our ER’s remain open to treat all medical emergencies. If you need us, we are here.