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Who can come into my home now?



From babysitters to plumbers, safety is imperative

babysitters, tradesmen, COVID-19, home repairs

Things have gotten better than when we were all trying to do everything ourselves in our homes, learning all sorts of DIY fixes with the help of YouTube, and simply giving up on the idea of a babysitter for the foreseeable future. But now that much of life has started reopening, how do you stay with the flow safely?

UNCHealth Talk's Is It Safe series has tackled the issue of letting others into one’s home, noting straight out that it remains a risky idea for now.

“The experts say: Make sure you and anyone who enters your home wear masks and stay at least 6 feet apart from him or her,” their piece recommends. “If you need repair work done, open the windows and step outside so you are not in close proximity to the person working. Before and after the work, disinfect the area and any doorknobs or surfaces nearby.

If you need to hire a babysitter, “keep it to one or two consistent people as opposed to a rotating group of people,” adds Emily Sickbert-Bennett, director of UNC Medical Center Infection Prevention. “That would be a way to control the number of people you’d interact with.”

Be aware that your babysitter could be exposed to coronavirus outside your home and bring it into your home. Are you confident that your babysitter has been following the “rules”? You can’t dictate what your babysitter does outside your home, but you can ask questions about how they’re practicing safe distancing.

As for those repair persons: Consider whether the repair is really necessary or can wait. Is the business practicing preventive measures? When booking a repair or service, ask what the business is requiring to keep customers and staff safe. And only hire businesses that require masks and practice physical distancing.

Most importantly, ask yourself if anyone in your household is at high risk for coronavirus complications, including people older than 65 and anyone with a serious underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Finally, disinfect surfaces that anyone from outside your home may have touched once they leave. And if you do bring in a babysitter, encourage them to spend time with your child outside as much as possible, and to remind your child frequently about the importance of physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Be safe.




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