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The spread of COVID-19 throughout Florida remains a concern as reports indicate cases continue to increase. Since the CDC and other health officials still recommend precautions to help keep yourself, roommates, and family healthy and limit the spread of the disease in your apartment, we've outlined a few tips you can put into action. Activities like frequent hand washing and mask-wearing are key precautions you can take to help stop disease spread. In addition, social distancing is another major method you, your roommates, and your community can do to get through this pandemic safely.
While social distancing at home can be difficult, it's not impossible. You just need a bit of planning and a few small habit changes. The CDC says, "Shared housing residents often gather together closely for social, leisure, and recreational activities, shared dining, laundry facilities, stairwells, and elevators and may have challenges with social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19."So, how do you practice social distancing in your USF apartment? Two main living areas should be your primary focus while social distancing: areas within your apartment and also in common areas within your apartment complex.
Social Distancing in Your Tampa Apartment Near USF
There are several ways you can approach social distancing, if necessary, within your apartment near USF. Of course, if you live by yourself or with close family or friends, you may have your bases covered. However, if you live with roommates who may not be as familiar to you, or know that there will be visitors, make a plan to address the following discussion points so you can prepare a safe and healthy environment and minimize viral spread. These include:
- Apartment Visitor Policy– Identify if your USF apartment has restrictions regarding visitors on the property. No matter what, you and your roommates should evaluate comfort levels with visitors to the shared apartment space. Questions to ask include: How do you and your roommates feel about friends visiting? Family members visiting? Significant others? Consider how much exposure potential guests are likely to have, like if they've been working and studying entirely from home, or if they have been working a customer-facing job.
- Create a Shared Space Schedule– It takes some getting used to, but it can be helpful when planning how to limit interactions within your apartment and in shared common areas. Though you may not always be able to social distance, you can still limit interactions. If you stagger the use of the common areas, like living rooms and kitchens, you can help everyone keep their distance. You'll also want to consider discussing other precautions for these shared spaces. Should you wear masks when in common areas of the apartment? How often will you clean these shared spaces, and who will clean what?
- Update Your Habits- In the time you've lived in your USF apartment, you've probably developed some habits surrounding how you use your personal space. This includes how frequently you wash your hands, where you store your belongings, etc. Now, with the need to take more precautions in shared spaces, your habits may need adjustment. For example, everyone should wash their hands for 20 seconds upon entering the apartment. You will also want to avoid leaving personal belongings in shared spaces. Instead, things like shoes, backpacks, handbags, and other items should be kept in individual rooms. Determine what works best for your household.
Social distancing measures shouldn't stop once you're in the common areas of your apartment. This space is just as important, if not more so. You want to make sure you're taking these with you to the shared spaces within your Tampa apartment near USF common areas, including amenities such as…
- The Pool– Before taking a dip to cool off, follow-up on the status of your community pool policy to see if any rules or restrictions on pool use are in place. This may include limits to the number of pool users, and the ability to bring guests. As always, personal hygiene when swimming is important to use the shower before swimming, and, if you're sharing the space with other people, be mindful of keeping your distance – 6 feet apart!
- The Fitness Center– While your apartment on-site gym is likely stocked with everything you need, check with your community for the status of this amenity. If hours or capacity is limited, this is the perfect time to try at-home workouts or even outdoor options. If your fitness center isn't closed, no problem, just be cautious. Maintain distance and sanitize equipment before and after use and utilize a mask.
- Study Rooms– These spaces offer a great opportunity to get out of your apartment, but they are also contained indoor areas. If you plan to use study rooms or conference rooms at your apartment, plan to wipe down the area before and after use and use a mask. Additionally, limiting movement and staying aware of social distance will help keep everyone safe. You can also adjust your schedule to visit these areas at slower times if possible.
Social distancing can be frustrating, but with a few simple steps, we can all do our part to mitigate the spread of the virus. Communication and planning are key. Stay safe and healthy!