Public health leaders encourage socially distanced Memorial Day

Public health leaders encourage socially distanced Memorial Day

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Just pulling the boat out of the water, fishing buddies Gary Wood and Ricky Trapini said a long weekend is best enjoyed on the water, but this trip was more so about the grandchildren.

“They’ve been in the house for two months and I’m talking the first wave we hit that we all got sick over, they thought it was great,” said Wood.

After several days of Phase 1, the pair say they’ve seen how the public is growing more comfortable and confident going outside the house, but for this Memorial Day they opted for a safe and socially distanced boat trip.

“In a boat it’s hard not to social distance so you don’t have a worry in the world just be out there having fun,” said Wood.

“They are getting relaxed but I think they still have in the back of their mind about the coronavirus,” said Trapini.

When venturing out in public again, public health leaders are imploring people to keep in mind the coronavirus is still here.

“If there is an effect from entering Phase 1 we should see that over the next week or so, so we’ll be watching closely and certainly the same goes if we get progress to Phase 2 so forth,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter.

While numbers in Louisiana have trended downwards, cell phone data compiled by website Unacast gives Louisiana an ‘F’ rating in socially distancing practices.

The state health department says they are prepared to respond to another spike, but that spike would only become apparent weeks after reopening because of the virus’ incubation period.

“We’re really looking for a trend over a number of days and we’re not going to get excited by a little bit here or there we’re going to look to see discernible trends,” said Kanter.

Given heavier traffic on a holiday weekend, Kanter says they’ll be keeping an eye on those trends in the coming days. That’s why he’s doubling down and reminding families they don’t have to go out despite lighter phase one restrictions.

“I want families to still think about how they can limit their exposure risk, I also want families to think about how their own personal risk may be and that may be different from family to family,” said Kanter.

With a couple of active boys, the Condon family says they’ve been cooped up and are ready for everything to open up. But dad, Kyle says they’ll be sticking together as a family for the time being.

“When we’re in big crowds we put our masks on, but when we’re at home we are a tightknit family there’s no need to cover up,” said Condon.

Kanter says it’s important to establish a trend. He says the instant they identify an upward trend of cases, they’ll notify the public immediately and take appropriate steps.

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