As localities across the country maneuver through re-opening of cities and counties, the Space Coast is joining in with ongoing efforts to keep all its citizens safe, in particular the most vulnerable. Senior adults and individuals with chronic health issues like asthma, heart conditions, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, renal failure, liver disease, and severe obesity, as well as the immunocompromised remain at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. In most instances, these individuals are urged to stay “safer at home” but when they must go out, they should continue following social distancing, wearing mask, and frequently washing hands. As many communities are preparing for or already in Phase Three of re-opening, these tips should help seniors and other high-risk individuals remain safe and avoid coronavirus infection.
Phase Three Explained
In phase three, restrictions will continue to be relaxed, as restaurants and other business are allowed to reopen. The final phase encourages everyone to continue with appropriate hygiene and stay home when ill. It also maintains, and sometimes mandates, social distancing and mask wearing, the precautions which have been in place since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Specifically, the expansive Phase Three reopening which is scheduled to begin when Phase Two is deemed successful includes:
- Social Gathering limits will be removed, but seniors and other high-risk individuals should continue to avoid crowded gatherings.
- Non-essential travel (including work-related travel) will resume.
- Unrestricted staffing in businesses can resume, with special sanitation measures in place. Those most vulnerable to COVID-19 should continue telework.
- Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs can return to full capacity, with special sanitation and additional safety measure in place.
- Fitness Centers and gyms will operate a full capacity with no social distancing protocols.
- Recreational facilities (beaches, state parks, concert venues, arcades, etc.) can fully open with specified social distancing measures in place.
- Theme Parks and large sporting events can resume normal operations, though decreasing capacity and social distancing remains recommended.
- Salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, and the like can return to full capacity with infection mitigation procedures in place.
- Retail establishments will continue at full capacity with the request of continued Phase Two sanitation protocols.
Recommendations for Seniors and Those with Underlying Conditions
For those 65 and older or those with underlying medical conditions who continue to be most at risk of complications from coronavirus infection should proceed with caution when Phase Three begins. Florida’s Phase Three recommends when public interactions resume, seniors continue to practice social distancing (6 feet) and avoid time in crowded environments. If traveling, seniors should adhere to CDC guidelines, isolating following travel.
As much is still unknown in regard to COVID-19, seniors and those with chronic health issues should remain vigilant, donning masks when going inside public places like stores, restaurants, salons, and gyms, and washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available. Also remember not to touch your face until you can sanitize your hands after an outing. It is still a good idea to limit shopping trips, visits, and places where large groups are gathered.
Protecting the Vulnerable
As states, cities, and counties reopen, the goal remains to avoid spiking infections and protecting those most vulnerable to serious complications from coronavirus. Face masks remain the recommendation when interacting with others and physical distancing is not possible or practical. For seniors who are looking forward to getting back out and returning to normal activities, until a vaccine is developed safety protocols continue to be the best defense against COVID-19 infection. Now and after Phase Three begins, when seniors and other vulnerable individuals need transportation, the team at Stellar Transport is ready to help. At Stellar Transport, we provide the safest and most comfortable non-emergency medical transportation and offer door-through-door service to the doctor, the airport, or dinner, and more.