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When will it be safe to gather in groups again? Doctors weigh in

HOUSTON – When will it be safe for grandparents (those in the vulnerable population) to see grandkids again?

“It will probably be the safest when we have a vaccine," said Shane Magee, MD, from Kelsey-Seybold. “Which I know is far away, a year or more away for a safe, good vaccine.”

Will you wait that long?

Family patience is wearing thin waiting for that vaccine but once we have one is when doctors say it will be considered safe to return to normal. Until then, they advise embracing the precautions of social distancing and face coverings.

Are we allowed to have gatherings now that the stay-home order is lifted?

“The only tool we have is that distancing, the face coverings. That's it. We don't have a vaccine, a cure, and so to the extent that folks can continue that distancing inevitably they will help curve the spread,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.

For now, whether it be at a mall, restaurant, movie theater or church, groups should remain six people or less with six feet distance between you and the next family, per the governor’s minimum health protocol.

If your extended family plans to be together, here’s what the experts said about keeping everyone safe:

Both adults and kids should wear masks. Magee said the kids are the ones most likely to carry the virus without showing symptoms, so they should definitely be wearing masks around at-risk people.

However, no kids under two should wear masks since it can hurt their breathing and possibly cause suffocation.