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Face masks make sex safer in the time of Covid-19, New York City Health Department advises

June 10, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The New York City Health Department is encouraging people to "be creative" in its updated guidelines to help people have safer sex during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(CNN)The New York City Health Department is encouraging people to "be creative" in its updated guidelines to help people have safer sex during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the department still urges people to stay home as much as possible and minimize contact with others, the guidance says that during the pandemic people "will and should have sex. "

Some researchers have suggested that while abstinence carries the lowest risk of infection, it's not a realistic option for many and the idea that sex would be "dangerous" could have "insidious psychological effects at a time when people are especially susceptible to mental health difficulties," according to a study published in May. Other coronaviruses do not easily spread through sex, according to the New York City Health Department.

Since Covid-19 can spread through saliva and breathing, the agency suggests people may want to wear a face covering or mask while having sex.

"Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact. " Or people can masturbate together and keep physically distant, the guidelines suggest.

The department reminds people that "you are your safest sex partner. " The next safest option is a consenting adult in the same household.

If, however, there is an interest in sex with someone outside the household, the guidelines advise picking a partner one trusts to talk about their Covid-19 risk factors just like they would discuss condoms and other safer sex topics.

Keep sex to two people since "large gatherings of any type are not safe during Covid-19. " If one desires to "find a crowd" for sex, pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces, wear a face covering, and bring hand sanitizer.

For people seeking sex online, the department advises people to take a break from in-person dates and stick to "sexy 'Zoom parties'" or other video dates.

For those who want to "hook up" or have sex outside their close circle of contacts, the guidelines advise watching for symptoms, and getting tested for Covid-19 on monthly basis or within five to seven days after the hookup.

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