Mass. Doctor Weighs in on the ‘New Normal' as Economy Reopens

AFC Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Kristina Orio suggests adopting new safety habits while venturing out in public

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One week into Phase 2 that allows more Massachusetts businesses to reopen their doors, including malls, outdoor restaurants and hotels, one local doctor has advice on developing new healthy habits.

"I think there's a safe way for us to kind of enjoy ourselves this summer," said AFC Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Kristina Orio on Monday.

Doctors like Orio are urging everyone to try to adopt some new safety habits amid the coronavirus pandemic as we navigate the next two of the state's four phases which will eventually fully reopen the economy.

"As we go to places like restaurants, you want to make sure that you can keep a little bit of a distance, at least six feet from the table next to you, you want to wash your hands upon entering the restaurant and upon exiting the restaurant as well," Orio said.

The doctor added that along the same lines, backyard barbeques should have fewer guests and be kept strictly outdoors.

"It's encouraged from the CDC that people bring their own food and utensils and things like that. That's much safer than having an indoor dinner party of ten people in your home," Orio said.

And with summer quickly approaching, there is encouraging news about taking your kids to the beach or town pool to cool off.

"We don't think that the virus can be transmitted through the water source," Orio said. "Now certainly other summertime viruses can be transmitted in a water source, but COVID itself is less likely to occur."

Dr. Orio says she's been telling her patients to follow the baseline rules of vigilant handwashing and wearing a mask, then to weigh the risk of any public activity while keeping CDC guidelines in mind.

"This virus is going to be around for a while," Orio said. "We want to avoid having a second spike as we kind of get back out into society."

The doctor said even when visiting health care facilities like AFC Urgent Care, you should call from your car instead of going inside, and you may even be screened in your car to avoid potential exposure to germs inside.

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