The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the more closely and longer people interact with each other, the higher the risk of spreading COVID-19 under new socializing guidelines.
Restaurants, retailers, and hair salons have been given sets of COVID-19 safety guidelines but when it comes to meeting up with friends and family, people have weighed their own risks.
The new CDC guidelines provide information for people to consider when deciding whether to go out.
Some of the safety measures encourage people to maintain a distance of six feet or more, especially from older adults who are more at risk of getting severely sick.
The CDC also said indoor gatherings are riskier than meeting outdoors.
Lieutenant Governor, Josh Green, said people should not let their guard down as they begin to reunite with family and friends.
Green said, “Obviously people are out for the first time, getting back at restaurants and out in public and I have noticed that a few too many people have left their masks at home or are very close to one another and we’re all guilty, myself included.”
The CDC said engaging with more and new people raises risks of getting sick, as well as not socially distancing or wearing masks within a group of people.
The new guidance also said asymptomatic individuals can still spread coronavirus.
Dr. Tony Trpkovski with Doctors of Waikiki said there is always a risk when meeting new people.
He said, “If they are new associates people you don’t know, you need to be cautious because you don’t know what they do, what are their risks.”
Although new acquaintances are among the riskier encounters, Dr. Bruce Anderson, the director of the state’s department of health said some of the new coronavirus cases were transmitted among family members.
Anderson said, “The disease seems to be limited to some extent to around existing cases, part of family clusters, we’d rather see that than cases scattered around the state.”
Eight new COVID-19 cases were identified on Monday bringing the total case count to 736 in Hawaii.