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

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

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Most Read