As shops and restaurants reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you may be tempted to run to your favorite stores like separated lovers reuniting at long last. But before you grab your purse, there are some important considerations to take into account, you know, considering the fact that the pandemic isn't over and it's still incredibly possible to contract the virus and spread it. One major shopping experience to think about: How safe is it to use a dressing room? With so many people going in and out, trying on clothes, and touching things, dressings rooms can be on the riskier side in terms of potential spread. However, I spoke to some experts about the safest practices to use while trying on clothes to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Although every state is reopening at different speeds and levels, you’ll likely be faced with the opportunity to go shopping eventually. And while it’s imperative for public health that you wear your mask and practice social distancing when you’re out of your house, trying on clothes is a quintessential part of many shopping trips. But if you're careful, it's not out of the question, even now. “We now have seen that most research shows the primary way SARSCoV2 is transmitted is person to person by airborne respiratory droplets or aerosols,” Dr. Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, MS, and Associate Director of Texas State University’s Translational Health Research, tells Elite Daily. “While surfaces can transmit the virus, with proper cleaning and disinfection, it should be safe.” It’s crucial for your health and for that of those around you that you keep your mask on while in the dressing room – even while you’re trying on clothes — and try to limit how many surfaces you're touching.
“The virus doesn’t live long on fabrics. so that makes picking it up from fabrics unlikely … Although I would try not to touch surfaces if avoidable. Carry along hard sanitizer to ensure you can do frequent hand hygiene, particularly after touching high-touch objects (e.g., door handles),” says Dr. Ebbing Lautenbach, MD, MPH, MSCE, professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lautenbach also emphasizes that you need to ensure you stay a good distance away from other people in the dressing room and in a store to further decrease your chances of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
If you’re shopping in real life again, dressing rooms aren’t off the table. Just make sure the shop's rooms are being disinfected between uses and do what you can to promote your own healthy, safe practices. The best way for everyone to get through this pandemic is by working together. If you have to leave your house and use a dressing room, bring your hand sanitizer and mask for the safest experience.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.