Check your area for increased coronavirus activity and follow government warnings and protocols. If your county or neighboring counties are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases or if you are under an order to stop all non-essential movement outside the home, do not meet up in person. Additionally, if you have visited an area within the last two weeks that was experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, delay meeting in person. Instead, take advantage of the 1-year gift card redemption extension by continuing to have one-on-one video dates with your Date Night date every 14 days.
Pre-screen potential dates on video. Video is a much richer experience than just looking at a person’s (potentially old) photos and exchanging text chats. Video dates can help you disqualify bad dates and see if you have enough chemistry to date them in person before risking exposure. If you do meet in person, take it slow -- coronavirus is highly contagious and transmitted through respiratory droplets between people in close proximity to one another. Learn about each other first and be careful about engaging in physical activity and contact.
Discuss COVID-19 risk factors openly and honestly. You should learn what your date is doing to protect themselves and the other people in their household before meeting up. Are they from a multigenerational household which may be at higher risk? You should each know how many other people each of you has come into contact with recently and the measures each of you are using to protect yourselves. Do they wear a mask when they are indoors or outside and unable to socially distance? Are they meeting lots of new people? Do they work from home? All of these should factor into if you will feel comfortable meeting them.
Don’t go on a date if either of you are sick or have had contact with someone who is. It is not worth the risk. Instead you could consider rescheduling the date for at least two weeks later and can keep dating virtually.
Keep initial dates outside and in public. If you do go inside, minimize time and wear a mask. It is always safest to meet in a public place, and because COVID-19 is less transmissible outside, it is smart to enjoy the warm weather and stay outdoors. If you have decided to meet up in person, go to a park, an outdoor restaurant, or have a picnic. Wear a mask when indoors and at least initially try to maintain a healthy distance and use outdoor seating wherever possible. Avoid indoor seating and bars. If you must be inside to buy food, use your mask to do so and then go outside to eat.
Keep your boundaries and follow common sense safety precautions like washing your hands frequently, not touching your face, avoiding crowds and if inside, wearing a mask. Your date should respect your decision to practice safe habits! If they don’t respect your boundaries and comfort level, they are not worth meeting in person.
Be choosy with who you meet. If you are frequently going on dates with multiple people and engaging in any physical contact with them, you should be screened for coronavirus at least monthly via nasal or oral swabs. Vault Health is one provider that enables you to do less-intrusive oral swabs from your home and gives you a result within about 72 hours. Keep the group you socialize with very small to reduce everyone’s risk.