Bubbling up

What it is: A small group of people from different households who socialize closely only with each other to lower the risk of COVID-19 infection.

How to set one up: As a group, set clear guidelines. As a basic rule, members should commit to consistently wearing a mask when interacting outside of the bubble indoors and in crowded conditions outdoors. Members need to agree to speak up right away if they feel sick.

How to size your bubble: Some countries have specific guidelines for social bubbles, but the CDC hasn’t made a recommendation. The size of a bubble should depend on members’ health risks, their level of social activity outside of the bubble and what’s practical.

“My rule of thumb is you should be able to draw a map around it and have some idea of who your first-order exposures are,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Jack O’Horo. “If you’re starting to lose track of that, that’s a good indication the bubble’s too hard for you to manage, and too big for you to manage.”

ERICA PEARSON