• People are now preparing to return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday
  • The CDC highly recommends staying home when one can
  • The CDC encourages avoiding sharing items with others and washing hands often at the workplace

Returning to work after the Thanksgiving holiday could come with health risks if there are co-workers who spent the day with people from different households and may not have used pandemic protective measures. Still, there are ways to minimize one's risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Although it is generally safer and better to stay at home when one can, here are a few tips to consider when preparing to report back to work in the next few days.

1. Stay home when needed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home. Those living with people displaying symptoms of the illness are also advised to remain in their residences to prevent the further spread of the virus.

2. Monitor health

Before heading back to work, being alert when it comes to symptoms is also a crucial step in ensuring the safety of loved ones and people one may come in contact with.

The CDC recommends watching out for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other flu-like symptoms and always monitoring temperature.

3. Wear a mask

Considered to be one of the most basic and most effective ways of battling the coronavirus, wearing a mask should never be overlooked. Staying six feet away from people outside of one's household is also highly advised.

Make sure not to come in close contact with people in the workplace or other areas outside of one's home and avoid removing masks when out.

A woman wearing a face mask walks down a street in central Moscow on November 25, 2020, as cases continue to climb globally
A woman wearing a face mask walks down a street in central Moscow on November 25, 2020, as cases continue to climb globally AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF

4. Cover coughs and sneezes

Covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing is not only polite but also shows consideration for other people's safety.

Block the mouth with a tissue or use the inside of the elbow when necessary. Throw the used tissue into the trash can and wash hands immediately after coughing or sneezing.

5. Avoid sharing objects and equipment

When working with other people amid the pandemic, avoid borrowing their things. These include pens, desks, phones and office supplies. The sharing of food and utensils is also highly discouraged by the CDC.

When sharing equipment cannot be helped, make sure to disinfect said object before and after use.

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects

Work stations, keyboards, tables, chairs, phones and doorknobs are all risky areas to touch. It is crucial to disinfect these areas, along with any other surface that people often come in contact with, the CDC said.