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Pause and reassess: What activities are safe during the delta surge?

A Novant Health doctor gives her recommendations on how to best protect yourself while out and about as delta spreads rapidly.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — COVID-19 cases are surging right now, because of the much more contagious delta variant. This comes after a few promising months, where restrictions were loosened, and many people thought life was largely returning to the way it was.

That’s now changed, so what activities are still safe? WCNC Charlotte asked Novant Health Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Yvette Rudisel.

“I can tell you what I’m recommending to my patients, to my family, and my friends," Dr. Rudisel said. "I'm asking them to take a reset, to take a pause and to reassess."

She recommends wearing masks, and soon, the official mandate in Mecklenburg County will go into effect.

Outdoor activities can be safer and are a good option to take whenever possible.

Many people have returned to dining out in restaurants, and since social distancing is not required by state or county mandate right now, outdoor seating is something to consider.

“I would also elect that if you are going to eat out -- if eating outside is an option, choose that option,” Rudisel said.

Sometimes indoor activities are unavoidable. If working out inside, Rudisel suggests wiping down equipment before and after use, avoiding machines directly next to someone else, and of course, wearing a mask.

At all locations, assess the situation to figure out what’s safe. At places like a movie theater, salon, or grocery store, go at a time when it's less crowded and social distance whenever possible.

“I think that any kind of crowded, enclosed space that you can't assess the ventilation is something you should be cautious about,” she said.

People who are required to be in the office or cannot work from home should keep masks on unless alone in a room.

Rudisel says these are simple precautions to keep the past from repeating itself.

“Nobody wants to close down but I think we're all concerned that if we don't do better, that it could happen," Rudisel said. "We don’t want that. We want the kids in school, we want to keep having our activities."

She added that getting vaccinated is the best way to make going out in public again safe, and it has an impact on the entire community. The more people vaccinated, the less opportunity the virus has to mutate and spread.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.