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Places You Shouldn't Go Even if They're Open, According to an MD

Avoid them if you can, given the coronavirus pandemic.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, everyone from Dr. Anthony Fauci to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that with COVID-19 spreading, some places are riskier for infection than others. In fact, there are some places you should avoid altogether—even if they are open and you are allowed to utilize or visit them. So, now that it is 2022 and Omicron is here, which places should you still be wary of? Shawn Nasseri, MD, Mayo Clinic trained Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon reveals to Eat This, Not That! Health the three places he recommends avoiding. Read on to find out where—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Avoid Travel Hubs

woman with smartphone going on holiday, wearing face masks at the airport

"I would recommend staying away from unnecessary travel," says Dr. Nasseri. While the plane cabins may be somewhat safe, "The risk is all dependent on the density of passengers, the responsibility of passengers to wear their mask, the length of travel time…" and you have to travel through the airport.

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors


Avoid Shared Fitness Studios or Gyms

Group of people doing fitness in a gym wearing a mask, coronavirus concept

Exercise might be essential for your health, but working out in a shared space could be detrimental to it, according to Dr. Nasseri. "The gym or other indoor studios should be avoided," he says. One of the reasons is because "as with intense workouts the body produces more sweat and breathing increases spreading respiratory droplets," he points out. "Being confined into a tight space, especially if hot, creates an environment for the virus to thrive and spread in." 

RELATED: Here's How You Can Catch COVID Even If You're Vaccinated


Avoid the Elevator

finger presses the elevator button

Elevators are a much more convenient option than stairs. However, they also provide a better environment for COVID to spread. "Wherever you are, take the stairs, not the elevator unless you can ensure you will be alone," instructs Dr. Nasseri. "Small confined spaces should be avoided."

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Avoid Indoor Bars and Restaurants at the Moment

Portrait of a happy waitress working at a restaurant wearing a facemask.

When it comes to eating out indoors, "when you're having such a…tsunami of infections, then we are seeing people who are vaccinated and boosted who are getting breakthrough infections," warned Dr. Fauci on CNN's New Day. "When you're in a situation where you have so many infections going out, the thing that you want to say is that if you want to do things like that, better do them in a setting where you know, the people around you are vaccinated and boosted." Dine at home instead.

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Do Your Part in Ending the Pandemic

woman put on a fabric handmade mask on her face
Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
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