Hot spot vs. safe spot: How to reduce COVID-19 risks in the North Country

State News


WATERTOWN (WWTI) — As snow flurries are flying, and the holidays near COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

Public Health officials in the North Country are urging local residents to remain diligent when it comes to reducing the risks of getting COVID-19. Focusings on actions that can decrease or increase risks are the key preventions between a “safe spot” and a “hot spot.”

Since November 1, 2020, Jefferson County has reported 148 new COVID-19 infections, Lewis County has reported 102 and St. Lawrence County has reported 139. Health officials are considering this the largest uptick since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Lewis County Public Health Department recently stated in a Facebook post for North Country residents to “consider your own personal situation and the risk for you, your family, and your community before venturing out.” The Department shared that CDC guidelines cannot access the risk level for every activity, so it is up to community members.

However, CDC guidelines include the following when accessing high and low risks.

Hot spot: Things that increase risks:

  • No masks worn
  • Crowded place
  • Indoor space

Safe spot: Things that decrease risk

  • Masks worn
  • Six feet of space between people
  • Outdoor space

Lewis County Public Health stated that “the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”

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