MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the summer holidays are upon us, we’re asking Dr. George Morris how to travel safely during Memorial Day weekend, and how parents of young, unvaccinated kids should approach summer camps and sports. That, and more.
Check out Morris’ answers in this week’s Clarifying COVID:READ MORE: COVID Vaccine For Younger Kids 'Would Be Absolute Relief' For Families With Immunocompromised Members
Why does community spread remain so high in Minnesota?
Now, community spread, what that says to me, is that people are out, they’re gathering, they’re doing activities, they’re getting exposed to others. But it’s hard to figure out exactly where you got the exposure. So in one day, I may go to a religious service, I may have a gathering with friends and families, or I could spend time in a restaurant or school or at a sports event. Now, which of those four activities got me exposed is hard to tell. As I see those numbers stay high or increase, it tells me that people are out doing things and getting exposed while doing them.
Should kids under 12 go to camps and play sports this summer?
Now, obviously, for the under 12, they’re not eligible for the vaccination yet. So we kind of know that we have to kind of group them all together. So, healthy, under 12 have very low risk, especially for those outdoor activities. So I would encourage summer camps, or sports camps or other things to be done as much outdoors as possible. If there are indoor activities, be very aware of spacing, air ventilation, and see if the staff can be either vaccinated or use masks.READ MORE: Parents Split On Vaccinating As Pfizer Touts Effectiveness With Kids 5-11
What’s the safest way to travel for Memorial Day weekend?
The safest way to go travel or to be out, engaged with others, go to restaurants, bars, businesses, schools, sports activities, and to be safe is to be vaccinated.
Instead a gathering of 50, maybe gather with 10. Instead of going to a crowded movie theater, do a small video party at home or look at ways to do more outdoor activities. Perhaps it’s set up a screen in an outdoor place, go for hikes, go for walks, do Memorial Day gatherings at parks and nature preserves, and enjoy the beautiful Minnesota that we have. And I think those are the activities that will still allow us to be safe. Get us our of our houses and see new people again.
How should people approach feelings of social anxiety caused by isolation of the pandemic?MORE NEWS: 'School Districts Only Have So Much Money': Districts Across State Report Shortage Of School Nurses
Go into it in small steps. This doesn’t mean that the first thing back should be attending a large concert or a large, you know, 300-person wedding or 50,000 person Twins stadium. Gather with your small group, expand that a little bit, tell people you may be uncomfortable, and see how comfortable they are. And I think this is probably a case of be open with your feelings, be honest with your friends, family and community. But then slowly get back into it. It’s really important for us to increase and improve those social interactions, we need each other. This is our time to really come together.