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What Summer Activities Are Safe? Doctor Discusses Do's And Don'ts For Your Social Life

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- With the start of summer just a few weeks away, people are itching to get back to some kind of a social life, and many are wondering what's safe to do and what's not.

The barbecues are begging to be lit and friends are saying, "Let's have drinks."

But as you step back into a summer social life, doctors are warning you, be cautious.

"What 9/11 was to air travel, COVID is gonna be to social activities. It's a game changer," Dr. Alexander Salerno told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

Salerno says just this week he saw a bump in COVID-positive cases in his patients compared to early May, and he believes it's no coincidence it happened as society started reopening.


What does that mean for popular activities like picnics in the park and backyard dinners?

"Everything should be disposable," Salerno said. "Single can Cokes, not the two-liter bottle that different hands are gonna touch and pour."

With little ones getting antsy, what about playdates?

Keep the number of kids limited and stay outside. Socially distant bike rides are better than playing tag.

RELATED STORY: Health Expert Warns Against Expanding 'Corona Bubbles,' Says It's Too Soon To Stop Social Distancing And Hang Out With Friends

How about that trip to the beach or dip in the pool?

"I'm not against a beach at all. I think there's some good microbes in the sand. I think there's some good things in the water," Salerno said. "I don't think right now I'd want to have a big pool party."

Indoor vs. outdoor dining, even when restaurants open at reduced capacity? Salerno says no question.

"Definitely outdoor," he said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

New York City Councilmember Mark Levine recognized the mixed messaging region to region.

After speaking with experts, he put together a chart on risk so people could navigate the so-called "new normal."

"We need to give people the tools to understand that risk is actually a spectrum," Levine said.

The chart lists walking, running or biking with a friend as low risk. Dating new partners is very high risk, and visiting elderly relatives is medium to high risk.

"If you really want to visit an elderly parent, is there a backyard or a balcony or nearby park where you can have that meeting instead?" Levine said.

No matter what you do, wear your mask whenever you can, and when it comes to the people you're spending time with, remember, it's perfectly OK to ask who else they've been around and what they've done the past two weeks.

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