Distancing, masks important during meals

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | November 09, 2020

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Nine months into this pandemic, we know the importance of wearing a mask. And yet, some things can't be done with a mask on.

Eating is one of those things.

Still, removing your mask to eat indoors can be risky -- whether you're in a restaurant, at home with extended family or at work with colleagues.

We've seen reports of COVID-19 transmission occurring in indoor settings when individuals remove their masks to eat with others who are less than six feet away. Some clusters have been traced back to work break rooms. So, as COVID-19 cases rise, it is more important than ever that we pay attention to our risk level while eating indoors at work, in the community and during holiday gatherings.

To protect yourself and those around you:

  • Eat outside when possible and when weather allows.
  • On campus, eat alone when possible.
  • If you must eat with others, remain more than 6 feet apart.
  • Keep your mask on when not actively eating or drinking.
  • Eat at home when possible (ie: if you do not plan to be on campus all day consider eating before coming or after leaving campus).
  • Stagger lunchtimes (or eat at your desk) so common eating spaces are less crowded.
  • Avoid potlucks whether on campus or in the community.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after eating.

Work with your supervisor to stagger lunchtimes and/or identify appropriate areas in which you can maintain physical distancing while eating. Contact health security with questions at healthsecurity@unmc.edu.

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