News

How to have a safe(r) summer with COVID-19 cases rising in our communities.

Burnet Institute

20 December, 2021

As COVID-19 cases increase across Australia many people are asking what can I do to help my family and friends have a safe[r] summer?

Unfortunately socialising over the summer also comes with significant risk of catching and spreading coronavirus. There is no ‘magic bullet’ or perfect intervention to ensure that you, your family and friends, are 100 per cent safe from COVID-19.

However there are things we can all do to protect ourselves and reduce the risk of getting infected and passing COVID-19 on to others.

10 THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  1. Get vaccinated and get your first two doses, as soon as possible.

  2. Get your booster/third dose as soon as you are eligible.

  3. Minimise contact with unvaccinated persons and do not be afraid to ask if people are vaccinated. While you might initially feel uncomfortable asking people about their vaccination status – it is perfectly OK to do so. Spending less time with unvaccinated family members and friends will be safer for you. Also speaking with unvaccinated family and friends about their plans to reduce their COVID-19 risk offers an opportunity for them to think more about their COVID plans. Approach these conversations with kindness and understanding.

  4. Wear a well-fitting mask when inside or in a crowded location – masks reduce the risk of you getting COVID-19 or passing on to others if infected.

  5. Minimise the risk of COVID-19 in the lead-up to large events over the summer. Avoid spending time in busy indoor environments like shopping complexes or pubs, where lots of people are unmasked.

  6. When hosting events conduct them outdoors as much as possible. Keep people a little bit further apart that you would have pre-pandemic. Open as many doors and windows in your house or apartment as you can, to maximise indoor ventilation.

  7. Even if you have the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact, visit a testing site because a PCR test will give the most accurate result. If you don’t have any symptoms, use a rapid antigen test (RAT) from the supermarket or pharmacy.

  8. Get a test prior to a social event. The afternoon or morning prior to social events, use a RAT and ask your party guests to also get tested.

  9. Have a plan if someone in your household gets COVID-19. Consider how to arrange things for others dependent on you - persons, children and animals - if you suddenly become a contact and need to isolate or are unwell.

  10. Are you visiting someone who is elderly or is immunosuppressed? It is important that you know that even if this person is vaccinated (such as your grandma and grandpa, a friend with a kidney transplant, a neighbour having cancer treatment) they are still at risk of catching COVID-19 and can get very sick.

Things you can do that might help:
o In the week before visiting them don’t go to events or locations where there is a higher chance of someone having COVID-19.
o Take a rapid antigen test before visiting them.
o Even better, take a rapid antigen test each day in the three days before visiting them.

Nothing is perfect but we can all help reduce risk and the harm of COVID-19 on ourselves, our families, our friends and our communities. We wish everyone a safe summer.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Margaret Hellard AM

Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.

Telephone

+61385062304

Email

margaret.hellard@burnet.edu.au

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