Editor’s Word — There are few no-risk actions in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, however there are methods to mitigate dangers. Absolutely vaccinated individuals are, after all, at a lot decrease danger of contracting and spreading coronavirus than individuals who have not been vaccinated. CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen advises approaching your exercise choices with that in thoughts.

(CNN) — At this level within the pandemic, you may be questioning whether or not you’ll be able to swap digital museum excursions for immersive, in-person experiences.

The reply partly is dependent upon the kind of museum and your vaccination standing. Coronavirus spreads when contaminated folks cough, sneeze or speak and others breathe in these droplets, or when the virus flows via or accumulates within the air. The danger of those modes of transmission will increase when many individuals are gathered carefully collectively and indoors, which may very well be the case at museums.

Folks also can contract coronavirus from surfaces contaminated with droplets, so — whereas this is not a main mode of transmission — reveals that embrace interplay by contact improve that danger, mentioned Regina Davis Moss, the affiliate govt director of well being coverage and apply on the American Public Well being Affiliation.

Visitors walk along a gangway at the Illusion Museum in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdish region, on April 26.

Guests stroll alongside a gangway on the Phantasm Museum in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s northern autonomous Kurdish area, on April 26.

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Photos

Absolutely vaccinated individuals are at a lot decrease danger for contracting and spreading coronavirus. Many museums “have already adjusted to full Covid protocols, and so now that you simply’re vaccinated, your likelihood of getting contaminated within the museum might be fairly low,” mentioned CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency doctor and visiting professor of well being coverage and administration on the George Washington College Milken Institute College of Public Well being.

Nonetheless, unvaccinated folks stay unprotected, so each teams ought to keep away from medium and enormous gatherings at museums the place security protocols — equivalent to bodily distancing — aren’t being adopted, the CDC has suggested. However should you select to go to a museum, this is what you must contemplate.

Earlier than you go to a museum

Earlier than you go to a museum, name or examine its web site to study whether or not the museum is complying with CDC steerage for events and gatherings, or comparable steerage from state, metropolis or municipal well being departments. Really useful security precautions embrace necessary mask-wearing, bodily distancing a minimum of 6 toes away from individuals who do not dwell in your family, and discovering out whether or not museum staff sanitize continuously touched gadgets as usually as potential.

“Most of those occasions are having the ability to open up however limiting capability in order that we’re avoiding crowds,” mentioned Dr. Ada Stewart, a household doctor with Cooperative Well being in Columbia, South Carolina, and the president of the American Academy of Household Physicians. If museums are limiting the variety of guests, you may have to make a reservation.

Air flow high quality is one other necessary issue, Stewart mentioned. Signs of a well-ventilated room embrace the power to run followers and open home windows or doorways. Excessive ceilings and transportable air cleaners which have HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters additionally assist — as do correctly functioning HVAC (heating, air flow and air-con) methods that ship clear air and dilute potential contaminants.
Visitors enjoy lego sculptures by brick artist Nathan Sawaya during the "The Art of The Brick" exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on April 22. Completing the exhibit took four years and and 1 million Legos.

Guests take pleasure in lego sculptures by brick artist Nathan Sawaya in the course of the “The Artwork of The Brick” exhibit on the California Science Middle in Los Angeles on April 22. Finishing the exhibit took 4 years and and 1 million Legos.

Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Photos

If educated staff aren’t sure in regards to the museum’s air flow high quality, different measures are particularly necessary — equivalent to requiring bodily distancing, limiting the variety of attendees and imposing mask-wearing. The CDC has really helpful avoiding large gatherings that do not have these precautions in place.
When you’re touring lengthy distance to a museum, you will have additional issues to think about, relying in your vaccination standing: Unvaccinated individuals are nonetheless suggested by the CDC to remain dwelling, but when they select to journey, they need to get examined for coronavirus one to a few days earlier than their journey and three to 5 days after arriving dwelling. No matter your second take a look at outcome, you must also quarantine for seven days.

On the museum

Paying on your tickets on-line or through touchless cost the place potential not solely reduces the danger of contact with continuously touched surfaces, but in addition saves time, Wen mentioned.

Since “we nonetheless do not know who’s vaccinated and who’s not,” Stewart mentioned, “it is best to put on your masks” always.

And in anywhere “the place individuals are standing round and crowding round a specific exhibit, I’d go to one other place till the numbers lower,” Davis Moss mentioned. That features museum reward retailers and cafeterias or eating places, the place folks must take away their masks to eat or drink. Many museums have outside areas the place you’ll be able to take a snack break should you’re a minimum of 6 toes away from individuals who do not dwell in your family.

There are museums which have “a theater-type expertise,” Wen mentioned. “You must notice that there’s a higher risk in those settings if many individuals are congregated collectively for lengthy durations of time.”

Most museums have gotten rid of bodily interactive reveals, Stewart mentioned. However should you have interaction with them, “assume that these surfaces haven’t been wiped,” Wen mentioned. Use sanitizing wipes to wash any needed surfaces, equivalent to buttons, earlier than touching them.

“When you contact that floor, squirt some hand sanitizer onto your palms, and also you’re good to go,” Wen added.

If the museum expertise includes a tour, the way it’s carried out can also affect Covid-19 danger, mentioned Krystal Pollitt, an assistant professor of epidemiology on the Yale College of Public Well being and assistant professor in chemical and environmental engineering on the Yale College of Engineering & Utilized Science.

A safer expertise might embrace “having the tour guides inform folks about totally different rooms and areas earlier than they enter,” and permitting “them to have small teams in an area after which lead them out to the following room, relatively than having that direct interplay instantly by the portray or different piece of artwork or program that is being noticed,” Pollitt steered.

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