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Bay Area doctors react to ballparks, amusement parks reopening with restrictions


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – What do Bay Area medical professionals think about the decision to reopen California?

“I think it makes sense and I think it’s relatively low risk,” Dr. George Rutherford, UCSF epidemiologist, said. 

“I think it’s a reasonable step at this point,” Dean Winslow, Stanford infectious disease specialist, said. 

“I completely applaud the decision,” Dr. Monica Gandhi, UCSF infectious disease specialist, said. 

Bay area doctors weighed in on the big announcement made by state officials on Friday, allowing ballparks and amusement parks to reopen with restrictions next month.

“Opening up outdoor venues is probably appropriate again, particularly if we insist people still wear masks as much as possible and the number of folks allowed in the ballparks is limited and the same thing with amusement parks,” Winslow said. 

While this decision would have been unthinkable several months ago, doctors say our improving vaccine distribution plan is making a world of difference.

“Right now, given the decline of cases in the face of vaccinations and in the case of vaccinations which have been prioritized to vulnerable communities I think it’s ok to proceed with this plan,” Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF infectious disease specialist, said.

The decision to reopen outdoor venues comes after state officials say the rate of Californians testing positive for coronavirus has fallen to2.1-percent in the last week — The lowest level of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations have also dropped from 22,000 in early january to just 4,500 on Friday.

“Who knows, it’s not a, there’s not a clear answer. I can’t point to 45 studies and the peer-review literature that have had randomized control trials. We just don’t know what the right answer is so we have to feel our way through it,” Rutherford said. 

“This is what vaccinations and immunity do for us. It is going to get us through the pandemic and providing people with benchmarks of more and more they can do will encourage the population to feel the light that is coming to us,” Gandhi said.

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