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

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Royal Bay Secondary School (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke School District alerts community to coronavirus positive case at Royal Bay secondary

Contact tracing underway after potential COVID-19 exposure Jan. 15

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read