Metro doctor says families with elderly, immune-compromised people should wear masks at home

ATLANTA — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Georgia and across most of the country, one metro doctor says that depending on who lives in your home, it may be time to wear a mask there as well.

Channel 2 anchor Jorge Estevez spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Hines with Wellstar Health System who said if you have multiple generations within your home or someone who is susceptible to getting the coronavirus, then you may want to mask up.

“If you live in a multi-generational home with someone who’s elderly with medical problems, they’re at risk,” Hines said. “This infection is everywhere now. So if you work in an area where you have a lot of person contact, you could potentially bring that infection home.”

Children could also potentially bring the virus home. Channel 2 Action News has reported on how COVID-19 is now on the rise with children just as several school districts have started in-person classes.

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Several of those districts have already reported positive cases among students and staff.

“Starting from the teenagers up, it is rampant right now. Kids are back from the beach, back from summer vacation,” said Dr. Alan Einstein of Einstein Genius Care. “Now they’re going to be starting high school, middle school, college.”

That means children could end up bringing the virus home.

“You talk about wearing a mask. I’m just going to say that so wear a mask at all times at home, except when you’re in the shower or what?” Estevez asked Hines.

“You’re going to wear a mask when you’re in close contact with that person that you care for who’s older than you, who has that medical problem. Obviously, when you’re eating, when you’re sleeping, you’re not wearing that mask. But when you’re in touch, when you’re in close contact with that person at home, that’s at risk. That’s when you should wear the mask,” Hines said.

Cases continue to rise in more than 20 states, and five — California, Florida, Texas, New York and Georgia — make up more than 40% of U.S. infections, CNN reported.

As of late Monday, confirmed infections in the United States stood at over 5 million, with deaths topping 163,000, the highest in the world, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the world topped 20 million, with about 734,000 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.