(WGGB/WSHM) -- Independence Day is just days away. It’s a weekend where some families either hit the road or head to the beach.

However, considering the coronavirus pandemic, what risks do you face if you head to a different state or the beach?

A doctor we spoke with on Tuesday said that people always run the risk of contracting COVID-19 if they don’t take the proper precautions.

Red, white, and blue shines bright on the Fourth of July. It’s a holiday Americans normally celebrate at the beach, a cookout, or out of town.

However, with the pandemic, many celebrations have been canceled.

Western Mass News spoke with Dr. Armando Paez, the chief of infectious disease at Baystate Medical Center. He said you run the risk of catching COVID-19 if you head outside or even across state lines.

“If you don’t follow those preventive measures, I think there is a possibility that we can have another surge of cases, but if you follow those rules, you know, people quarantining themselves outside of the state coming here and areas that are big high cases of infection and wearing the face mask,” Paez said.

He said his biggest concern is when people head to the beach - a place that could be jam-packed with people who don't stay six feet away from each other.

“In infection of COVID-19, it is still primarily a respiratory infection and just speaking to that.  Not so much with water. Particularly, the pool water that is treated with chlorine that will allow the transmission, there is no evidence of that happening as of yet,” Paez noted.

If someone is feeling under the weather after their Fourth of July fun.

The CDC has released new symptoms to the list. Those include runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea.

While many want to escape the impacts of living in a pandemic, Paez said as a reminder, COVID-19 cases may be experiencing a downward trend in Massachusetts, but that doesn’t mean the virus is gone away for good.

“Don’t get tired of following the rules of preventing COVID-19 infections. I mean, this will be the new normal. You just need to accept that and it will probably be for this year and early part of next year,” Paez added.

Paez said people need to continue to social distance, wear masks, and wash their hands to keep case numbers down.

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(1) comment


Oh gee look, of course nothing about the protesters who continue to pack our city streets with not a shred of actual social distancing taking place. We wouldn't want to offend anyone now would we, better to see thousands catch Covid instead....

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