HOUSTON - Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, thus commencing the start of summer celebrations, so what does this mean for the spread of COVID-19?
Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse says the COVID-19 numbers have been coming down significantly, but there are still about 70 new COVID-19 patients getting hospitalized per day in Houston.
He says there are a few who should stay cautious this Memorial Day Weekend.
"If there are older folks who aren’t vaccinated yet or if there are people with chronic illnesses who aren’t vaccinated yet who are gonna be around a lot of young kids or younger people in their 20s, there’s still a little bit of room to be concerned, so things are greatly improving, but we’re not completely out of the woods yet," said Persse.
And if you are vaccinated, Persse says still use caution. He’s vaccinated and still likes to avoid crowds.
"I’m not going to go into any place that’s heavily crowded," said Persse. "I’m not bringing it home to my wife. I’m not bringing it home to my family, so personally my choice- I’m gonna choose not to do that, and if I have to--with my job sometimes I have to go into crowds--I’m wearing a mask."
So how does water play into the spread of COVID-19? Can you catch it in a pool or a waterpark?
"The water itself generally isn’t the problem," said Persse. "There’s chlorine in the water. The virus is fairly unstable in those environments. The risk is if somebody’s swimming and they get water and they start coughing a lot. And we see that a lot with kids. They’re playing. They’re splashing each other. There’s a lot of coughing that goes on. So if you have a child who’s infected who then starts coughing a lot because they aspirated a little bit of pool water, that’s where the risk comes in. The risk isn’t in the water. It’s in the coughing."
Dr. Persse said the virus is less stable in water or on surfaces than was thought last year, so while it can stay alive in that environment for a short time, it’s much less likely to spread and infect someone compared to an airborne virus.