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ST. LOUIS – Although it looks like things are improving with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a time when people still need to be careful so the number of cases doesn’t begin to increase.

It appears many protestors are wearing masks and police have face shields, each group protecting the other. Social distancing needs improvement and people should not forget hand sanitizing. It will be a while before we know the if the current protests have an effect on COVID-19 cases.

“It can take a little while before we see if there’s been an impact,” said Dr. Hilary Babcock, an infectious disease specialist at BJC Healthcare and Washington University School of Medicine. “Probably 6 or 8 weeks out.”

The zoo will be opening soon.

“I think we’ll be probably go to the zoo as soon as we can,” said Rachel Hennies, who was walking in Forest Park Thursday afternoon

Dr. Babcock advised people to continue to follow the guidelines when visiting all the animals and keep away from other zoo-goers.

“Each family has to decide for themselves what their risk is and how much risk they can tolerate for the safety of their own family members,” she said.

The aquarium is opening soon and families will be cooling off at neighborhood pools. The specialist says don’t worry about the water, but do maintain social distance.

And there is one group she recommends who should think twice about going to public places.

“Older family members or family members with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for complications,” Dr. Babcock said.