There is good news heading into the Memorial Day weekend, outdoor plans could actually inhibit the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, but they won't stop it completely and people need to do their part to stop the spread, according to experts.
With stay-at-home orders no longer in effect, at-home learning coming to end and the unofficial start of summer arriving this weekend, North Texans will no doubt hit the pool or fire up the grill, whether in their own yards or at a public park.
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New research out of Harvard University strengthens the hypothesis that summer heat, humidity and sunshine will help deactivate the new virus, making it harder for it to spread.
Even so, since the main source of spread occurs in respiratory droplets, doctors said it's important that people continue to practice physical distancing and take other precautions.
"The issue really comes into play with how we socialize when we go to the pool," said UNT Health Science Center epidemiologist Dr. Diana Cervantes.
She said personal interactions, rain or shine, are still the easiest way for the virus to spread.
While you don't have to Lysol down that lounge chair, you should still wash hands after touching public surfaces and wear a facial covering if you know you'll be in a crowd.
Cervantes said if you'll be around people you don't know, think twice about the risk.
"They can be infected and not know it," said Cervantes.
She recommended limiting gatherings to people who you know have been practicing social distancing and stay-at-home shelter orders.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.