Although people are going to beaches and, in some states, bars and clubs now that summer has arrived, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, cases have now become more prevalent among younger people than older people. If you live with roommates, the spread of COVID-19 among younger people might have you worrying that you could easily catch the virus. While social distancing may be challenging, if not impossible, to achieve with roommates, these three COVID-19 roommate tips may help to minimize the chances of you contracting the virus from an infected roommate.
1. No sharing in the kitchen
To minimize the chance of COVID-19 roommate spread, you may want to designate certain kitchen items as exclusively yours and encourage your roommates to do the same. Whereas before the pandemic you and your roommates might all take from the same stack of plates or drawer of silverware, you may be able to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 from a roommate by eliminating sharing in the kitchen. Additionally, all silverware, dishes, cookware, and other kitchen equipment should be thoroughly washed and cleaned with dish soap and hot water after use.
2. Keep personal items off bathroom sinks
The novel coronavirus can jump from the hands of an infected person to any surfaces they touch, such as sink faucets and taps. You should thus avoid leaving toothbrushes, contact lens cases, and other personal and hygiene items on your bathroom sink or countertop. Instead, store these items in a medicine cabinet or in cabinets below the sink. If neither of these options is available, keep your personal and hygiene items in a tote in your bedroom and bring this tote to and from the bathroom whenever you need to use these items.
3. For luxury apartments, avoid on-site amenities
Luxury apartment life during the COVID-19 pandemic comes with additional considerations that people living in non-luxury apartments may not need to consider. Ordinarily, your luxury apartment might include access to a pool, fitness center, or activity center. You may do well to avoid these spaces for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, as even if you don’t have roommates or live with a partner in your luxury apartment, every person with whom you come into contact in these shared spaces is another potentially infected person in your building.
Not all amenities need to be off-limits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as cases rise among younger people, the risk of interpersonal transmission remains far lower in outdoor settings. If your pool is outdoors, you may be safe there as long as you wear a face mask when not in the water. Other outdoor amenities such as rooftops and fire pits are likely safe for socializing with other people in your building as long as you wear masks and keep six feet of social distance.
What if my roommate or I get sick?
If you or someone you live with begins showing COVID-19 symptoms, you may need to make certain changes to your lifestyle for several weeks to minimize your chances of contracting the disease. Read more about these steps here.