Wichita doctor discusses how to stay safe, healthy on late-summer vacations

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 11:10 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Following a retreat in Branson, Mo., six Chanute school district leaders tested positive for COVID-19. In all, 11 are quarantine because of this. Of those infected, some even required hospitalization, but are now doing better with continued recovery at home.

The school district’s superintendent said the trip was part of an annual administrative retreat where the group does team-building activities and prepares for the upcoming school year. Chanute Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams said they’re not sure exactly from where those who tested positive contracted the virus, but said there were signs that indicated that someone might have had COVID-19 before the group left for Branson.

He said the administrators followed most safety protocols, but there were times when masks weren’t worn.

“The reality is, we would have had these meetings, we would have been together as a team, whether it was in Branson or right in Chanute,” Dr. Adams said.

He said the experience shows just how real the virus is and how easily it can spread.

With a few weeks left until school starts, many families consider late-summer vacations within driving distance, including Lake of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake in Missouri. Eyewitness News spoke with a doctor in Wichita about how you can take a trip and enjoy the company of those you’re with while staying safe from a situation like what occurred with the Chanute school district administrators.

“Anytime you are indoors and you are with other people, you are at risk. So your best environment is out of doors,” said Dr. Steve Davis with Wichita Family Medicine Specialists.

Being outside is encouraged, but only if you’re following additional safety precautions.

“Hypothetically, a person might be able to get in a boat, enjoy the lake on their own, do all kinds of things, even pass by other boats, and be perfectly safe. So it comes down to what you do in between,” Dr. Davis said.

Scenes like a crowded Memorial-Day Weekend pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks continue to surface on social media.

“People drop their defenses and may drop some of these simple precautions, and that’s where you are going to see a lot of danger,” Dr. Davis said.

So, what is a safe vacation plan?

Dr. Davis said don’t make it complex. Try to stay away from small indoor spaces, stay with people in your household and most of all, stay away from people not wearing masks.

“It’s really mostly a matter of common sense,” Dr. Davis said. “How many people are around? How big is the space? Is it indoors or outdoors?”

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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