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With COVID Cases Rising Again, Local Doctors Weigh In On Masks, Precautions

BOSTON (CBS) -- This week, COVID cases in Massachusetts jumped to the highest point in three months. WBZ-TV asked three of the area's top epidemiologists to weigh in on activities people are likely to do in the coming days.

"COVID is mutating as a business," said South Shore Health Infectious Diseases Dr. Todd Ellerin.

Grocery shopping

"I don't think people need to wear masks when they go to a grocery store," said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "People generally spend relatively brief periods of time there. Grocery stores are generally not packed, they're pretty spacious."

Restaurants 

How about Mother's Day brunch inside a restaurant?

"You should be aware that the risk is higher now than it was in the last few months," said Tufts Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron.

She said if you are not in a risk category, eating inside a restaurant should be fine. "Things have changed a lot. We now have a lot more tools than we did even last Mother's Day."

Visiting the elderly

Many people plan to visit elderly relatives this weekend.

"You can always add a layer of comfort by doing a home test before going to visit your family members," said Dr. Kuritzkes. "That can give some reassurance to everybody."

Travel

Finally, what about getting on an airplane? With mixed messages on masks, it can be confusing. "I will tell you that right now I'm in New York, so I traveled from Boston. I wore a mask the entire trip," said Dr. Ellerin.

COVID variants and sub-variants are with us, but with more immunity, better medicine, and more common sense, doctors say we are finally getting to that "new normal".

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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