Labor Day is this weekend and many Arizonans may have plans to spend the holiday with family and friends. There are several precautions that you and your family can take to stay safe from COVID-19 and other illnesses. Remember that you are safer at home. But, if you want to spend time with others make sure you find your #Quaranteam and mask up, stay outdoors, wash your hands, and make food safety a priority.
Find your #Quaranteam: Quaranteams, also called Quarantine pods or bubbles, are the combination of two or a few isolated households, making one larger isolated unit. The pods allow families and friends to socialize safely. When choosing your Quaranteam, the smaller, the better. Stick to five to 10 people total. You’ll want to make sure that those in your Quaranteam are being careful about staying physically distant from others, wearing masks when they are out, and practicing good hand hygiene. If someone gets ill, communicate with others in your pod and you can pause the Quaranteam for two weeks while the exposed family quarantines. Forming a Quaranteam allows you to connect socially with others while staying safe.
Mask Up, Arizona: Wearing a mask can protect others around you from catching COVID-19. COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets. Studies have shown a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19, including children, lack symptoms or can transmit the virus to others before developing symptoms. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, ADHS recommends that people wear masks when out in public or with people who are not in their Quaranteams, especially when it is difficult to physically distance.
Stay Outdoors: The best way to avoid COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. We know that COVID-19 is easily transmitted in enclosed, indoor settings. If you are going to spend time with a group of friends or family members, move the gathering outdoors. When you are outside, there is more room to physically distance and better ventilation, which decreases the chance of you and your guests catching COVID-19. If you are spending time outdoors, make sure you also have plenty of sunscreen and water.
Practice Safe Food Handling: COVID-19 isn’t the only infectious disease in our community. We know there are many foodborne illnesses like Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, hepatitis A, and norovirus that can be transmitted when food isn’t prepared and stored safely. Washing your hands before preparing a meal can prevent germs from getting on the food. Important safety precautions also include washing your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, separating fruits and vegetables from raw meat, cooking foods to the proper temperature, and keeping chilled foods cold.
We want all Arizonans to enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend and want everyone to stay safe and healthy. For more information about COVID-19, visit azhealth.gov/COVID19.