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'Is curbside pickup safe?': Macon doctor answers your questions

Dr. Slade says above all, you should call your doctor directly if you have a concern

MACON, Ga. — Restaurants and bars are shifting their focus to drive through and curbside pickup, but is that safe?

That's what Cora Bailey wanted to know.

"Can the virus be spread through the food if a food handler has the virus and doesn't know it yet?," Bailey asked.

Dr. Lance Slade, a pediatrician who's been tracking the COVID-19 outbreak closely, weighed in.

"That would be true if they didn't use proper safety techniques," he said. "At this point, everyone I've seen is wearing gloves. They're using cleanliness, so the things that have always been in place by our restaurants should be correct. As long as they're not sneezing or showing any symptoms along those lines."

Those safety guidelines are particularly important, because some who get COVID-19 might not show many symptoms.

"They're saying that you can be asymptomatic, or mild symptoms for, initial reports are, up to 80 percent of people. So, mild symptoms might be a little cold, or cough, or sore throat," Slade said. 

"You would assume there are some people that are asymptomatic. The early studies on kids showed that 50 percent might not present with fever. So, that's a lot different than what we were thinking initially than when it comes to the older folks and adults," he said.

Some people have asked about allergies: now that allergy season is ramping up, how can you tell the difference between allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms?

"Allergies are running rampant right now. I think I did a run Sunday, and there's a yellow cloud of pollen going across the street," Slade said.

For allergies, "You're seeing clear runny nose. You're seeing like kind of the puffy eyes, like runny itchy eyes but not a lot of discharge, almost none. Sneezing. That kind of thing," he said.

Antihistamines and nasal steroids like Flonase are effective allergy treatments most times.

If you have a fever and cough, Slade says, that points to something else --perhaps, but not certainly, COVID-19. 

He emphasizes those are just guidelines.

The best thing to do, if you have a question, is contact your medical provider directly.

"Give us a call. We're happy to help you guys," Slade said.


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