Is it okay to let friends use our bathroom?

Families/Kids Infection and Spread Socializing Staying Safe

We want to visit with a few friends that are outside our bubble and are trying to #StaySMART by socializing outdoors in our yard, while social distancing and wearing masks…but what if someone needs to use my bathroom, is it okay to let them?

A: Yes, you can let someone from outside your household use your bathroom.

While not completely risk-free, you can take these steps to reduce the likelihood of spreading SARS-CoV-2 to them, and them to you.

-Designate one bathroom for use by guests if possible.
-Clean your bathroom thoroughly before anyone uses it.
-Store away any non-essential objects in the bathroom beforehand.
-Open a window or turn on the fan (with outdoor air vent) to increase air flow and ventilation.
-Limit the number of people outside your bubble that enter your house to use the bathroom to one at a time to avoid crowding (unless, for example, a child needs assistance from a parent).
-Ask that people keep their masks on inside your home.
-Remind people to flush with the lid down and wash their hands (a little note in the bathroom, perhaps) [EDITED TO ADD: Opt for paper towels over reuseable hand towels].
-Have sanitizing wipes at the ready and ask that guests wipe down any surfaces they touch (i.e., doorknob, light switch, sink, toilet lid and handle, etc.) before exiting.
-Clean the bathroom again before your family resumes use.

A few other points to consider. The longer your visit, the more likely people will need to use the bathroom, which is another reason to remember “T” for time in #SMART and keep it short (see full SMART guidelines here). If you feel you are at high-risk for complications of COVID-19, you may want to err on the side of caution and not allow others to use your bathroom (best to let individuals know this ahead of time or, again, plan for a short visit only).

For more tips and considerations see the article linked here.

Bonus! See our previous post on using public bathrooms here.

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