‘No indoor restaurants please!’: Dr. Megan Ranney issues warning to public as states roll back COVID-19 restrictions

“Just because the governors say it's okay.... doesn't mean it is.”

FILE-A healthcare worker transfers a swab to a motorist at mobile testing location for COVID-19, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Auburn, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, files) Robert F. Bukaty / AP, File

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Dr. Megan Ranney is urging the public to remain cautious, even as states push ahead with rolling back COVID-19 restrictions. 

The warning from the emergency room physician and director of the Brown Lifespan Center for Digital Health came as she reacted on Twitter Thursday to signs that increased circulation of variants of the coronavirus may be driving up new infections in New York and and New Jersey. 

Ranney urged the public to “get vaccinated” and “maskup.”

“No indoor restaurants please! Just because the governors say it’s okay…. doesn’t mean it is,” she wrote. “Gather safely: outdoors and/or with great ventilation.”

The Rhode Island doctor isn’t the only public health expert expressing concern about the direction cases are headed in the United States. Her colleague at Brown University, Dr. Ashish Jha, raised the alarm this week that the number of COVID-19 infections appears to have stopped declining after the nation saw a previous downward trend. The dean of the Brown University School of Public Health said he suspects more widely circulating variants and states moving too quickly in reopening are behind the stall in the decline of cases. 

According to the Washington Post’s COVID-19 tracker, Massachusetts places in the top 10 nationally for the number of new cases reported in the last 7 days per 100,000 residents. 

Despite the seven-day average of new cases remaining well over 1,000, the Bay State is moving forward in its reopening even as public health experts urge more caution. The state will move into the first step of Phase 4 of its reopening plan on Monday, which means indoor and outdoor stadiums can reopen at 12 percent capacity and gathering limits are being relaxed for event venues and public settings to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.


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