Local Doctor Shares Tips to Avoid Exposure to COVID-19

Nearly half of all of Scripps' ICU patients are battling COVID-19

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As San Diego County continues to report more people infected with COVID-19, doctors are sharing thoughts about some of the risky activities people should be aware of to help minimize exposure to the virus.

“We’re heading back into a worse state than we were in early spring, summer time,” said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, the chief medical officer of acute care at Scripps Health.

Sharieff told NBC 7 on Friday that COVID-19 is hitting closer and closer to home.

“My best advice is to -- I know you want to see your friends and family, try outdoors," Sharieff said. "You can stay more than 6 feet apart. Go to the beach. Do all those things that you want to do, stay apart, just don’t eat and drink and don’t take your mask off."

When asked what behaviors people should eliminate, Sharieff said, “That would be getting together with people and not wearing your mask. That really is what we’re seeing. Every time we’ve had an exposure or someone who’s been really sick, it’s because they have not worn a mask, and that’s such a simple thing to do.”

When it comes to essential errands indoors, like grocery shopping, Shareiff advised people to limit the number of items they touch and recommends sanitizing your hands once you're finished.

“We really do need to slow the spread down," Sharieff said. "It’s getting to the point, again, where I’m worried there’s going to be people out there that maybe we can’t take care of because there are so many people with COVID who are continuing to have these risky behaviors, and it’s sad to say risky when you’re saying, ‘All I want to do is hang out with my family.’ But right now, it is a risk -- for you and someone else -- and it’s really not a risk worth taking."

Sharieff said Scripps’ ICU’s are currently 86% full. Nearly half of all of Scripps' ICU patients are battling COVID-19.

As for the new restrictions likely to go into effect in the Southern California region, Sharieff is cautiously optimistic.

“The Thanksgiving damage is already done and we are kind of barreling into it right now as we speak. Next week and the week after will be the most telling as to what that does. I’m hoping for the next holiday these restrictions will help a little bit. We may need to be more proactive.”

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