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 Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Rebates through Clean B.C.’s Better Homes New Construction program are available, says the City of Nanaimo. (Vancouver Island University photo)
Energy-efficient home builds in Nanaimo eligible for up to $15K in rebates

All building permits issued on, or after, April 1, 2020 eligible, says City of Nanaimo

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read