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Fourth of July and COVID-19: Top 5 Health and Safety Tips

This year we are celebrating the Fourth of July differently, and while we may not have formal firework-related events, we still need to take precautions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us are planning events and social gatherings with friends and families that may pose a risk of contracting COVID-19. To prevent that from happening, we do know that practicing health and safety as a community will help reduce the number of cases and aid us to reopen Connecticut fully in the future. Adding COVID-19 safety tips to the list shouldn’t be overlooked. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to guide you through the Fourth of July and COVID-19 with Health and Safety tips.

  1. COVID-19 Safety

Getting tested before the 4th of July should be one of your top priorities before going to a social gathering with friends and family. People can be asymptomatic and not know that they have the virus. Even after the event, you should get tested, especially if you are expanding your social circle to a larger group of people. AFC Urgent Care Danbury provides both the Antibody test and the PCR Nasal swab for essential workers and residents in the Danbury community. COVID-19 testing at AFC Urgent Care Danbury is free to insured and non-insured folks. Testing is quick, and results are available within 24-48 hours. 

     2.Protect Against the UV Rays 

We love the sun, the beach and being outside. As some beaches are open throughout Connecticut, it is required to practice fourth-of-july-and-covid-19-top-5-health-and-safety-tips-afc-urgent-care-danburysocial distancing and health and safety. Here are some tips to consider if you’re going to the beach this 4th of July weekend:

  1. Wear a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or higher. The CDC studies suggest applying sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and to reapply at least every 2 hours after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. 
  2. Put on sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes from cataracts and other potential eye problems.
  3. Do not share sunglasses and goggles with others as this can be a way to contract COVID-19. 
  4. Use an umbrella at the beach and wear hats to shelter from the sun. UV rays are at their strongest from late morning through mid-afternoon. 
  5. Keep distance from others while on the beach. Use a mask when necessary, like approaching others or conversing with other locals.

It is also important to know that sunburn and skin damage can also occur on cloudy or overcast days, so wear your sunscreen, wear proper clothing and seek shade if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time. Babies are susceptible to UV rays.

     3.Drink Plenty of Water This Fourth of July

Not drinking enough water is a major risk for dehydration. In warm or hot heather there is an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke If you’re going outside for an event or doing a physical activity outdoors remember to drink a sufficient amount of water before, during, and after. 

We often hear that eight 8 ounce glasses of water is enough each day, but because of the warmer weather, our need for water can also increase in order to replace what we lose daily through urination, sweating, and even exhaling. So remember to pack some extra water for your trips outdoors and track how much water you drink just to get a feel for the amount needed.

     4.Watch What You Eat during a 4th of July Cookout

Having barbecues may sound filling, but it can easily send you to the doctor for food-borne illnesses. During warmer temperatures, bacteria growth can contaminate foods if they are left out in the sun. Hot foods that are served below 140 degrees and cold foods that are served above 40 degrees poses a risk for bacterial growth. 

A good way to serve and eat foods this summer is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. The FDA suggests that when grilling or attending outdoor events with food to:

  1. Use a food thermometer to ensure that food is at the right temperature.
  2. Wash your hands if you’re serving or getting food.
  3. Refrigerate and freeze food promptly. Pack a cooler for cold foods and never leave food out for more than one hour.
  4. Cook food thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

If you are hosting a Barbecue, or are going to one, it may be ideal to pack your own BBQ related food with you. Some people might say that the temperatures of the grill will kill anything, like bacteria, but it doesn’t stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading on surfaces if you exchange plates, cups and other utensils. Stay safe and bring your own food to a gathering. If you are handling food wear a mask and gloves.

     5.Fourth of July Firework Injuries 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commision fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday have sent an average of 180 people to the emergency room. Body parts that are more likely to be injured are the eyes, face, and hands. You can help prevent these firework related injuries by:

  1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  2. Avoid purchasing fireworks packaged in brown paper as this is a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a threat to consumers.
  3. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully ignited. 
  4. Keep water or a hose handy incase of a fire or other mishap.
  5. Never point or throw fireworks at other people.
  6. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  7. If you get burned or injured while igniting a firework at an outdoor activity, seek immediate medical attention.

AFC Urgent Care Danbury is 4th of July Health and Safety Ready!

Please be safe this upcoming holiday season. Set the rules, protect your children, and use common sense when around fireworks, the sun, and eating heat exposed meats. Wear a mask and respect social distancing rules to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Lastly, if you haven’t gotten tested for COVID-19, AFC Urgent Care Danbury offers quick COVID-19 testing at any of our three centers.

Our staff is also equipped to care for injuries from fireworks, foodborne illnesses, heat stroke, exhaustion, and more. AFC Urgent Care Danbury’s locations are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 8am-5pm on the weekends. We are located at 2 Main Street at the corner of South and Main, 100 Mill Plain Road in Danbury and at 76C Newtown Road in Danbury, CT. We also accept most insurances and we’re able for virtual visits if you prefer to maintain social distancing.