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Many communities have ended mandates and relaxed safety protocols that became our new normal. If you’re doing the happy dance, we understand.
Still, it’s smart to remain vigilant. We all know the coronavirus can mutate and change. So while experts anticipate COVID-19 will be more akin to the annual flu, it doesn’t hurt to still use the common safety steps to fend off bio bugs.
Here some of the important ones:
Wash your hands. It’s a simple act, but it’s a proven and powerful germ killer. Lather up with an antibacterial soap for at least two minutes after you come in contact with surfaces touched by others. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
Sanitize surfaces. Give kitchen and bathroom fixtures and countertops a good cleaning with antibacterial wipes. Don’t forget to wipe down desktops, doorknobs, light switch plates and any place where germs may lurk. Doing so regularly is a good way to prevent the spread viruses.
Feel free to wear a mask. For the most part mask mandates are no longer in effect, with the exception of public transportation. Still, check with your community about masking rules. That being said, if you feel more comfortable still wearing a mask, you can always do so. It can be a good way to protect yourself if you have a weak immune system or are around someone else who does.
Know what to do if you’re exposed to COVID-19. If you’re up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines or have had a confirmed case of the virus within 90 days, you don’t need to quarantine as long as you are symptom-free. If you aren’t up-to-date on your vaccines and have been exposed to someone with the virus, quarantine for five full days. Stay home, don’t travel, go to work, school or out socially. Wear a mask when around your family members or roommates.
Isolate if you have symptoms or test positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should stay away from others for five full days. Even if you’ve been vaccinated. Even if you don’t have symptoms. Stay home and away from family members, roommates and pet. Recover in a separate sick room. Afterward, wear a mask when around others at home and out in public for five more days.
Along with all of the above, talk with your doctor about the COVID-19 vaccines to see if the vaccines and boosters are right for you.
Originally published 7/1/2020; Revised 2022
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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