LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The economy is reopening little by little, in a phased approach for the Commonwealth. But, how safe is that restaurant, store, salon, gym, or campsite? Some doctors are offering their advice on what to look for when it comes to safety, and when people might want to stay home instead of venturing out.
Dr. Laura Bishop, Doctor of Internal Medicine at UofL Hospital, uses these words to test whether to wade into a recently reopened space: place, people, space, time.
'Place' means Bishop chooses one new place to add nearly every week. This, she explains, keeps her number of personal contacts low. 'People' means she checks out the number of people there. 'Space' means observing how far apart people are and how large an area is. 'Time' means the amount of time she intends to spend in any given place.
"Plan a lot more than usual, and be more patient than usual," says Dr. Bishop.
Epidemiologist, University of Kentucky's Dr. Kathleen Winter, offers thoughts on several of the places now reopened across Kentucky. As for restaurants, she's still staying home. Dr. Winter says outdoor dining is better than indoor seating, however.
"So if you are indoors, that's always higher risk than being outdoors. If you're around multiple people within a short period of time, that would be more of a concern," Winter says.
In terms of retail, Winter finds most stores much like grocery stores; she suggests going to the shops that limit the number of patrons inside at a time, and require face mask use.
Salons, she says, can be tricky because of the close contact; but most of all, avoid areas like crowded waiting rooms.
Winter feels it's a little soon for gym visits; they're set to open Monday, June 1. "I feel uncomfortable with the idea of places reopening where you have a lot of people sharing the same air space. If there's not good air circulation and ventilation then you could potentially have that type of transmission," she says.
"You can always go scout a location first. Figure out, does it look safe to me?" Bishop offers on gyms.
"I think that the reiteration is going to be important for us to stay vigilant because it's gonna be easier and easier to get back to the places that we're used to and get back to those behaviors and forget everything that we've been drilled on recently," Bishop adds.