Even if your state is reopening, COVID-19 is still a risk. These are the 13 public places doctors say you should think twice about visiting.
Public places doctors avoid during coronavirus. Alexander Spatari/Getty Images
By Jihan Myers
If you’re feeling restless staying cooped up inside these days, you’re not alone. Living in coronavirus lockdown isn’t easy for anyone. And now that most states have lifted many of their outdoor restrictions (though some states are spiking again), it can be hard to know where exactly it’s safe to venture outside. “The highest risk places for COVID-19 transmission are indoors and those that are crowded,” says Sarah P. Cate, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “Low-risk places are outside where people are also masked and have space to socially distance,” she explains.
Inevitably, the summer can bring a lot of challenges, especially in places like Florida, says Dr. Cate, which is still in the escalation stage of the virus. “A beach with a face mask on and plenty of room between visitors is relatively safe, as is a haircut outdoors with both people masked,” she says. Dr. Cate adds, “It requires a bit of flexibility for all involved. And if you have multiple medical problems, it may be safer to avoid activities unless you are really isolated.” Neha Vyas, MD, a family medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, Mayfield Heights, Ohio, says, “For some people, I would recommend complete isolation based on their individual risk profile. For others, it may be okay to venture to these locations.”
Bottom line: It’s still important to keep your distance in public places until we have a vaccine. In fact, a May 2020 study in the journal Health Affairs found that areas with no social distancing guidelines could lead to up to 35 times more cases of COVID-19 than areas that enforce the six-feet-apart protocols. While we will probably make many coronavirus mistakes this summer, it’s important to be mindful of our habits. So when you’re ready to head outside, where should you remain cautious? Here’s are the public places doctors won’t visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more >>