Grand Rapids's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Grand Rapids, Michigan | WZZM13.com

What to expect when West Michigan reopens

The head of infectious diseases at Spectrum Health described what to expect, and how to stay safe as you resume your normal activities.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — All 50 states have begun to ease coronavirus restrictions, more than two months after the country went into lockdown to prevent the spread.

As sights are set on what’s next, there are still a lot of unknowns. But we do know one thing for certain: people will still have to take precautions.

Dr. Russell Lampen, division chief of infectious diseases at Spectrum Health Medical Group, described what to expect, and how to stay safe as you resume your normal activities.

First, when you finally get that much-needed haircut, it’s safest if you and your stylist wear a mask, chairs are separated and capacity is cut. 

At restaurants, expect to see smaller table sizes. Outdoor spaces are safer than indoor spaces. Maybe opt for the patio, where there will also likely be limits on the number of people. 

Dr. Lampen said think twice, before getting right back to the gym. People working out breathe heavily, emitting more droplets, which can spread further than six feet. He suggests sticking to at-home, and outdoor workouts for now. 

When you go back to work, he said unless you have a private workspace, you should wear a mask all the time. Face shields could become more common in places like industrial settings, where people can’t be separated.

“Unfortunately, I don't think anyone should feel comfortable,” Dr. Lampen said. “I think we should all keep our guard up, make sure that we're wearing masks when we're out in public, making sure that we wash our hands, or use hand sanitizer like crazy, and try to stay in open spaces and stay away from crowded situations.”

He said be aware, even if your area has reported low numbers of cases, people will continue moving around from all over. Plus, smaller numbers could actually be attributed to lack of testing and access to health care, as opposed to low levels of disease. 

Dr. Lampen said as the state reopens, if there’s a significant increase in cases, it’s possible restrictions could be put right back in place. 



Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.