Staying safe, healthy requires planning, forethought

Posted at 8:09 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 21:12:24-04

As part of Governor Greg Abbott's Strike Force to Open Texas , many businesses will be opening their doors for the first time in over a month.

Which means, there will be more traffic and more people walking into stores.

Amistad Community Health Clinic Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacqueline Phillips said there are many things people need to remember before heading out the door. The most important tip: Be cognizant of what you are touching.

Phillips' advice is to continue washing your hands every time you touch something, before eating, and before touching your face. She said having hand sanitizer is a good way to minimize germs while on the go.

She also recommends avoiding latex gloves completely.

"When I look at a pair of gloves, all I see is what those gloves touched," she said. "And then if it's outside of a contaminated area, all you're doing is just contaminating the area."

As for masks, Phillips said she recommends them, but understands they're a personal choice. She said they do help, but in a way people don't always think about.

"The benefit to wearing a mask is that it actually prohibits you to touching your face," she said.

She advises practical considerations if someone wants to go to their favorite restaurant.

"I would likely recommend that you call ahead to make sure you're not going to exceed the restaurant's capacity," Phillips said.

She also said to make sure the tables are clean, and to be aware of the condiments you use, since others may have touched them, too.

If you need to go to a grocery store and cannot do curbside or delivery service, Phillips urges families to only send one person to the store at a time.

And of course, no matter where you go, continue to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart.

The governor's Strike Force to Open Texas has several checklists to used as guidelines for Texans and retailers participating in the reopening here .