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'Social Distancing Protocols Stay In Place': Doctor Warns Moving To 'Yellow Phase' Does Not Mean The Relaxing Of Safety Precautions

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- This coming Friday, much of Southwestern Pennsylvania will be moving into the "Yellow Phase" of the state's plan to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

So, KDKA's Kristine Sorensen asked Dr. Brian Lamb, an internal medicine doctor with Allegheny Health Network, questions about going to the "yellow" phase with less restrictions. Here is their edited conversation.

Kristine Sorensen: "Should I be wearing a mask anytime I'm around people I don't know, like shopping or out of the doctor's office?"

Dr. Brian Lamb: "Yes. The answer to that is yes. Even as we go into the yellow phase, one of the things to remember is that the social distancing protocols stay in place, as well as wearing personal protective equipment when you're out in public."

Kristine Sorensen: "The governor says we can gather in groups of less than 25, but do we still need to wear masks when we're in those small groups?"

Dr. Brian Lamb: "If it's a social group, such as a wedding, a funeral, or just a group of people who you aren't in contact with on a regular basis, yes, I would actually consider that to be almost like being out in public."

Kristine Sorensen: "So, for people who are leaving the home to go back to work now, what steps are recommended for daily decontamination when they come back home to their family?"

Dr. Brian Lamb: "So, immediately wash your hands [when you get home]. If you can take off your clothes from the day, wash them and wash yourself."

Kristine Sorensen: "Now that we are allowed to gather with other people, what should older people, or anyone who's more susceptible to developing a worse outcome with COVID-19, be doing differently from just your average person?"

Dr. Brian Lamb: "So this is important. I'm glad you asked because I even deal with this with my own family. The thing to remember as counties go to yellow is that patients who are still considered high risk, elderly patients and those who have underlying immune disorders, they're not technically in the yellow right now. They're still supposed to do very severe risk stratification and risk mitigation."

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