With concerts returning, Washington University infectious disease expert offers COVID precautions

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Rock ‘n roll icons The Rolling Stones will kick off their No Filter Tour this weekend. An infectious disease specialist says No Filter does not mean “no mask.”

It may be difficult to keep a mask on while standing and screaming and singing along at a concert, but a St. Louis City ordinance requires wearing a mask indoors.

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is not required to enter The Dome at America’s Center. But they are required at other indoor venues in the St. Louis area.

Dr. Joseph Cherabie, an infectious disease physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, says there is an inherent risk of COVID in crowds. But what precautions can you take at large, indoor venues?

Cherabie says rapid tests are available over-the-counter or you can get a lab test at a COVID testing center. Many locations are requiring the negative test be administered within 72 hours of the event.

“But what I do want to emphasize is that if you are asymptomatic and you are just getting a COVID-19 test, that it is important that you don’t go to the emergency department to get these tests, because they are quite overrun and they are quite busy,” he said. “And so that might be an opportunity for you to better utilize your acute care center, your pharmacy such as your CVS and Walgreens, and any other COVID-19 testing center.”

Cherabie says for parents concerned about taking their unvaccinated young children to large venue events, he says they should always wear a mask and show proof of a negative COVID test that was administered within 72 hours of the event.

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