OTTAWA – The coronavirus pandemic has complicated nearly every aspect of our lives, even the most intimate parts, like sex.
It’s always important to practice safe sex to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but now health officials say COVID-19 should be considered as well and precautions should be taken.
Wednesday, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, issued a statement with tips on staying safe from the virus while engaging in sexual activities.
“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” said Tam. “However, sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19.”
If you choose to engage in an in-person sexual encounter with someone outside of your household or close contacts, Tam says to skip kissing and avoid face-to-face contact or closeness. She even went as far as suggesting using a mask that covers the nose and mouth.
Tam says you can also reduce your risk by monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and not having sex if someone is experiencing those symptoms.
Tam also suggests limiting alcohol and drug use, so you and your partner are able to make safe decisions.
Additionally, you should be aware if you or your partner may be at higher risk for more severe outcomes of COVID-19. That includes people with underlying medical conditions, those with compromised immune systems, and people living with obesity.
“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids,” said Tam. “However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing. Remember as with all social interactions, try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible.”