How to navigate restaurants, travel and more as economy reopens

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis County and St. Louis City are reopening today. Many businesses are starting to reopen.

FOX2’s Mandy Murphey and Dr. Steve Lawrence, a Washington University infectious disease physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital tackled some viewer questions on our FOX2 Facebook page.

You can watch the entire segment on our FOX2Now Facebook page or read some of the highlights below.

What do we know about the virus being airborne?

Dr. Lawrence: When you sneeze or cough, there is a little bit of the virus that will hang out in the air longer, but all of the evidence shows the vast majority of transmission happens if you are spending more than 10-15 minutes with someone and are less than 6-feet apart.

Can you get COVID-19 again?

Dr. Lawrence: It is not clear if you can get it again or not. It hasn’t been around long enough to prove that you can’t get it again.

How about an antibody test?

Dr. Lawrence: A positive antibody test does not mean you are protected. You will likely have protection for awhile if you had COVID-19. You need to act like nothing has changed once you get results from an antibody test.

What about air travel?

Dr. Lawrence: There is some potential for transmission from traveling. The airlines are doing things to make it safer and cleaner. The most important thing is the number of people in the space and how close they are together. If it is not a full flight and if you are careful, wash your hands and follow all the guidelines the risk wouldn’t really be very high.

Can I take a family vacation?

Dr. Lawrence: We don’t know what things are going to look like later this summer. While transmission rates are going down right now, if they go back up as things reopen, it can make it harder to make travel plans. If transmission rates continue to go down into the summer and people take measures, it can be done safely, but not with zero risk.

Can I get together with a group of friends and or family?

Dr. Lawrence: Safety is relative. The more people together, the more risk. I can’t say if it is safe or not, but there are things to make it safer. Make sure no one has symptoms or is achy. If something is not normal, you should stay away. Try to spend as much time outdoors and maintain distance. You should even consider wearing masks.

Also, don’t let your guard down around friends and family. You are just likely to get it from them as you would a stranger. You may be more willing to take your mask off or get closer to a friend of family because you trust them.

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