New Yorkers should stick to a “pandemic ‘social bubble’” – or small groups of friends and family – in order to limit the potential spread of coronavirus, according to new social distancing guidelines by the city’s Health Department.
“Try to limit in-person social gatherings to a core group of friends or family, even if you are attending a larger gathering, to minimize exposure to people outside your immediate group,” the memo, dated Sunday, says.
The Health Department advises New Yorkers to “avoid having close interactions with people age 65 or older or people with underlying health conditions” and to “avoid big gatherings.”
Under a state executive order, gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, so long as social distancing is observed.
“COVID-19 is more likely to spread when you meet indoors. Organize gatherings outside in the fresh air to further reduce risk,” the city’s Health Department says in the new memo.
It also recommends New Yorkers bring their own chairs or blankets as one way to help ensure social distancing, bring their own food to cut the potential for disease spread and organize activities like ‘charades’ to minimize potential contact.
“Sharing a beverage or passing food around can spread the virus,” the guidelines say, adding, “Bringing your own chairs or picnic blankets can help you maintain distance from others in the group.”
And it says Gothamites should continue to avoid team and contact sports, noting that running, walking and biking are safer.
Running, walking and biking “are safe sports to do alone or with others — just keep at least 6-feet-apart when you do or wear a face covering,” the guidelines say.
“Frisbee and catch are better than team sports since you can keep a safe distance,” according to memo.
The two-page document also includes advice for New Yorkers looking to return to their houses of worship, which are now permitted to reopen at limited capacity in the Big Apple under Phase Two of the state’s four-phase reopening plan.
“If your house of worship has reopened, wear a face covering, don’t share chalices or utensils and avoid close contact with others including hand shaking and hugging — wave instead,” it says.