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When you ask experts if it is safe to grill underneathpandemic this summer, the answers you get tend to vary – and they can even change between one day and the next.
Several states that cashed orders at home and opened businesses between mid-May and early June are now seeing increases in COVID-19 cases, and restrictions are being reintroduced in many places, including California.
In fact, there will continue to be a risk of spreading or contracting the coronavirus until we have a generally administered and effective. In the meantime, it will be crucial to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distance guidelines and to keep up to date with your state and county guidelines.
When it comes to deciding to host (or participate in) a collection of any size this summer, “First of all, it’s best to know what your local and state public health departments are saying about reopening your area,” says the registered dietitian. Anne-Marie Gloster.
“If you happen to live in a current location, it can be bad to have a barbecue,” Gloster adds. “If you are in an area with low levels of infection and the public health department says ‘groups of a certain number can gather’, you can consider a barbecue.”
If gatherings will be allowed in your state, you’ll probably be able to host or attend a BBQ this summer – but experts say there are some precautions you should take if you choose to do so. This is especially true for anyone who has one, or who lives with or cares about someone who does.
Keep reading for seven smart safety tips to remember if you decide to host an outdoor party this season.
1. Keep a safe distance
We’m sure you’ve heard this about 100 times since the pandemic broke out, but if you’re hosting or attending a BBQ this summer, you should keep a safe distance fromfrom other partygoers.
If you are the host, be sure to spread out the places where people sit and eat. That way, you do not have to constantly remind people to keep their distance. Instead, you can simply point out that you have set up the party that way and ask everyone to please respect the rules.
2. Keep your party outdoors
To keep a safe distance, it is recommended that you hold your BBQ party outdoors – rather than letting guests into your home, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Current research suggests sothat we all show up when we talk, scream, sing, cough and sneeze. Outdoors, these droplets can be more easily spread before coming into contact with another person, which is why gathering with others while outdoors is considered safer than hosting people indoors.
If you do not have enough space in the garden, you can always arrange for you and your guests to meet in a local park. “See if there are other outdoor venues in your local area, such as drive-in theaters,” says Gloster. “I loved these as a kid and it’s a nice way to be with people and not at the same time.”
3. You make the rules
If you are hosting the party, set the rules, says Richard S. Garfein, professor and epidemiologist for infectious diseases at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, UC San Diego.
This means that you get to say what the safety rules will be at your BBQ collection. “While it may make values feel unwelcome, it really helps to set the tone for everyone if the host models the correct safety practices,” says Garfein.
“If you greet your guests who wear oneand avoid shaking hands or hugging, it lets everyone know that you take precautions seriously to protect your friends and loved ones. “
If your guests offer to help clean up, please decline. Why? Because cleaning “usually involves carrying utensils into the house,” Garfein says.
“If guests are insistent, let them move things closer to the house to make it easier for landlords to take them in,” Garfein adds. This way, you will not have people in your home.
And even if it’s not the most eco-friendly party trick, you should use disposable plates, cutlery and cups that can all be thrown in the trash when you’re done. Keep a large dustbin so people can clean up after themselves. If you want to reduce your environmental impact, select.
4. Think about how many people you invite
While this may sound obvious, you should keep in mind how many guests you choose to invite. This will of course depend on how many people can be accommodated in your conservatory at the same time as they physically distance themselves.
“People should have room to spread,” says Garfein. “If possible, encourage guests to sit in the same place instead of moving to a new place after getting up to use the bathroom, have a drink or otherwise.”
5. Wash your hands often and wear a protective mask
Another tip that may seem obvious – but it is extremely important – is for you and your guests to wash their hands often.
According to the CDC,is one of the best ways to prevent the capture and spread of coronavirus. And you should always strive to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.
“If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all hands on the surface and rub them until they feel dry,” according to the CDC.
In addition, the CDC recommends wearing onewhen hanging out in public environments. This is both to protect yourself and to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
“It is not unreasonable to ask all guests to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking,” says Gloster. “Providing theme masks or masks with everyone’s names on them can take the place of name tags and provide conversation starters.”
But if you want guests to have their own masks to wear, make sure they tell you in advance.
6. Plan your BBQ activities carefully
When hosting a barbecue, “think about what people will do when they are not eating,” says Garfein. This means that you should think twice about all games that involve touching common objects, such as cornhole, playing cards or frisbees.
“If any activity involves touching shared objects or surfaces, apply some hand sanitizer and remind everyone to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth until they have disinfected their hands,” says Garfein.
For an activity that does not involve touching ordinary objects, consider “creating your own outdoor viewing party at home with a projector and pointing it at an empty wall outside your house or garage,” says Gloster. “Or you can hang a white sheet to create a screen.”
Garfein says it is also a good idea to avoid, even if it can be a bitduring this time if you are worried about spreading the virus.
If you choose to swim, “make sure the chlorine level is correct on BBQ day,” says Garfein. “You should also not share towels, goggles, masks [or] snorkel. “
7. Get everyone’s contact information
It is also important to have a list at hand with all your participants’ contact information.
Why? “If anyone at the party learns that they have COVID-19 after the collection, they will be asked by the health department ifof all they had close contact with during the last two weeks, says Garfein.
This is so that healthcare professionals can notify the contacts and advise them to self-quarantine to avoid spreading the virus to others if they are also infected. “The fewer close contacts, the easier this process and the fewer potential new cases,” Garfein adds.
To be extra safe, you can always contact your participants before your BBQ and let them know that if they feel unwell, please stay home on the day of the gathering.
If you decide to host a BBQ this summer, it’s important to know that all of these precautions are likely to make your collection feel different than it normally would.
“Until the pandemic ends, but having peace of mind that these special visits with friends and family will not result in clusters of new COVID-19 cases should make it all worthwhile,” says Garfein.
This article is written by Anna Hecht for Chowhound.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical condition or health goal.