Midlands doctor encourages social distancing during Memorial Day weekend activities

Dr. Anna Kathryn Burch says if you're going outside and staying with family, you don't necessarily need a mask

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) —If you’re planning on hitting the beach or having a cookout this weekend, doctors remind you to be mindful of social distancing guidelines.

As some people debate whether or not to have some fun in the sun this weekend, several people hanging out at Lake Murray this morning say they are being extra cautious.

“Being aware of who’s around me and making sure I put myself in a position where no one feels like they need to get so close, so we’re kinda trying to stay as far away as possible but still having fun while we’re out here,” said Lauren Welch of Lexington.

Others say if they maintain control of who they surround themselves with, they should be fine.

“I feel comfortable. I don’t get close to nobody. I go from here to the car, and when I get out the car, I get in the house,” said Patricia Kelly of Columbia.

If you plan on going to the beach, some doctors say you might not need to pack a mask with your blanket and umbrella.

“I think if you’re outside and you’re actually social-distancing so you’re only just with your family or just with that one person or even by yourself, I don’t think you need to bring a mask,” said Dr. Anna Kathryn Burch, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician at Prisma Health. 

If you want to turn up the grill and have a cookout with a lot of people coming over, Dr. Burch says you should keep people with their families and spread people out.

“Making sure that you serve food individually and not in a buffet style setting to where everyone is sharing the same utensils,” Dr. Burch said.

Even with more people starting to come outside, some say the best thing to bring to a weekend gathering is some common sense.

“If you’re maintaining your distance and handling your own things and staying out of peoples’ bubble so to speak, I think the situation will resolve itself,” Welch said.

Governor Henry McMaster (R-SC) lifted restrictions on tourist attractions, including the Riverbanks Zoo, effective this weekend. Restrictions on beaches were lifted a few weeks earlier.

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