Hand sanitizer can lose its chemical strength in the sun, according to experts. (Pexels photo)

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

With summer in full swing, health officials are asking people to rethink their summer habits to better protect themselves against the virus.

Dr. Beth Donaldson, medical director and family physician with Copeman Healthcare, outlined a few summer-specific COVID-19 tips for British Columbians.

One of the most contentious issues that’s arisen during the pandemic is restrictions around social interactions. Donaldson said that whenever meeting people or a group of friends, keep it simple and stay outside.

“Rooms with no circulation have the potential for a higher rate of infection, so when going to a restaurant, being on the patio is the safer option,” Donaldson said.

“If you’re going to a friend’s house for dinner, ensure you’re spacing out the chairs and are only gathering with six to eight people. If you’re inside at a gathering, leave the windows open in the summer.”

Hand sanitizer was one of the hottest commodities in the country at the beginning of the pandemic, but high temperatures can lower its effectiveness.

“Do not leave your hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in your car when the sun is out, as the heat can evaporate the alcohol, leaving them much less effective,” said Donaldson. “Hand sanitizer also doesn’t spread as well in the heat, potentially leaving surfaces on your hands untouched by the sanitizer.”

Instead, Donaldson recommends keeping a smaller bottle on your person, and to restock a baggy with fresh hand wipes throughout the day so they stay effective in the summer heat.

ALSO READ: Health officials urge long weekend safety as B.C. sees 23 new COVID-19 cases, one death

With summer heat comes its less fun side-effect – sunburns. As people apply their sunscreen, this simple activity may be a inconspicuous way of spreading the virus.

“Before lotioning up your face with sunscreen, always wash your hands to avoid the potential spread of the virus around your eyes,” said Donaldson.

And like hand sanitizer, don’t let your sunscreen roast in the back seat of your car during a hot day, as it can cause it to change consistency and reduce its effectiveness.

Lastly, there aren’t many things more synonymous with summer than a good old fashioned barbecue. So whenever you may be enjoying one, remember to keep your food to yourself.

“Think about individual portions of food and avoid sharing plates,” suggested Donaldson.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Nicole Halbauer seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Skeena riding

Halbauer is the current Chair of the Board of Directors at Coast Mountain College

MLA rides bike from Terrace to Kitimat

Ride was to raise awareness for cancer

Kitamaat’s Eden Robinson book-to-film premiere at Terrace theatre

Monkey Beach is set in Kitamaat Village, and was filmed in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village in 2018

Keeping the Kitimat River clean

It was another successful year for the Kitimat River Clean Up

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

VIDEO: Tickets now available for the Second Annual Northern View Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

Four great locations in Prince Rupert and Port Edward to buy your tickets

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read