Following Tennessee’s single worst week in terms of COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as an average of 136 cases per day for the past two weeks in Williamson County, the chief medical officer at Maury Regional Medical Center is urging Middle Tennesseans to practice caution as the holiday season fast approaches.
“COVID-19 is spread from person to person via airborne droplets when an individual coughs, sneezes or talks and can linger in the air and on surfaces from minutes to hours depending on the setting,” said Christopher Turner, chief medical officer at Maury Regional.
“If you have COVID-19 and don’t yet know it, you can spread the virus to friends, family or passersby who may be at greater risk for serious complications. That is why it is so important to mask, social distance, frequently wash your hands and follow CDC recommendations.”
The news release from Maury Regional advises those looking ahead to the holidays to celebrate “with members of your own household or [host] virtual gatherings,” per Centers for Disease Control recommendations. For those still planning to host or participate in small in-person gatherings, however, the release outlines five safety recommendations.
Stay home and away from others if you are feeling sick — especially if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Always maintain at least six feet of distance from others. If you’re hosting the event, arrange seating to allow for plenty of space between guests (people from the same household may still sit together). If it is possible, host your event outside or in a well-ventilated area with open windows. Plan activities that do not require close and/or physical contact.
Wear a face covering when you are around others who do not live in your household and/or when you are less than six feet apart. If you are hosting the event, consider providing disposable masks for your guests or sending out a reminder for guests to bring their own.
Wash your hands periodically with soap and water (or hand sanitizer) for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important upon arriving and leaving as well as before and after eating or using the restroom. Make sure to have power towels or single-use hand towels available in hand-washing spaces to avoid guests having to share the same towel.
Limit the number of people in the space where food is being prepared and avoid serving food buffet-style or passing dishes around a table. If possible, use single-use utensils, dishes and condiments or identify one person to be in charge of handling shareable items to reduce the number of surface touches.
For more information on how to best mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during in-person gatherings, click here.