With everything that’s gone on this year, COVID-19 almost seems like ancient history. But we can’t let our guards down yet.
In June alone, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed nearly 8,000 new cases in the state. In other parts of the country, cases are spiking to some of their highest levels.
Here in Minnesota, breakthroughs in testing have helped us to stay relatively ahead of the curve. Just today, Governor Tim Walz announced that we’ve hit our testing capacity goal of 20,000 tests per day.
That’s great news, and has allowed us to ease some social distancing orders. However, we must continue to take steps to keep our fellow Minnesotans safe. Here’s what you can do:
Pick safe activities
After a long winter, Minnesotans can’t wait to live up the summer months. The good news is that we can still safely enjoy the sunshine.
According to health experts, the riskiest activities are those that involve large groups of people, especially indoors.
That means it’s probably best to stay away from the mall, but you can still shop local with online ordering and curbside pickup. Instead of eating in at your favorite restaurant, why not order takeout and have a picnic in the park? Air-conditioned movie theaters pose a high risk of infection, so how about a drive-in movie for a safer, nostalgic night out?
Just remember to keep your gatherings to fewer than 10 people, avoid touching shared surfaces, and sanitize your hands often.
Camping, hiking, boating, and spending a day at the beach pose a low risk of infection, as long as Minnesotans stay a safe distance away from each other. Check this list to see which beaches are open, and visit the Department of Natural Resources website for more information about camping during COVID-19.
Keep wearing those masks!
Picking up groceries? Wear a mask. Visiting the doctor’s office? Wear a mask. Going anywhere where you’ll come in contact with others? Wear. A. Mask.
Research shows that asymptomatic people can infect others with COVID-19, but wearing a cloth mask reduces that risk. If everyone wears a mask, the chance of infection drops dramatically.
And a facemask isn’t just an important safety measure. It can be a fashion statement too! Check out this list of places to buy Minnesota-made cloth masks.
Listen to the experts
Wash and sanitize your hands often. Practice social distancing. Monitor your temperature, even if you don’t feel sick. Scientists continue to learn more about COVID-19 and how it spreads, but we can take these proven steps to stay safe now. Keep up with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control for updates and recommendations.
Stay safe and enjoy the summer, Minnesotans!