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Should I stay or should I go: Are 'bubbles' still safe?

We’re asking local experts common questions about the coronavirus. We wanted to know if our small groups of family and friends, or 'bubbles,' are still safe.

CLEVELAND — Once initial stay-at-home orders were lifted, many of us started opening up our circles to a limited number of people, or so-called 'bubbles.'

We asked Dr. David Margolius, Division Director of Internal Medicine at MetroHealth, if our bubbles are still safe.

"It's less safe than it was two months ago," Margolius told us, "but I think it's still safe if you've got a trusted, small bubble who are adhering to the same public health measures that you are. I think that can be safe for sure, certainly for your your mental as well as your physical health."

We also asked about people who work directly with the public, day in and day out. We wanted to know if it’s riskier to have an essential worker, like someone who works at a grocery store or a hospital, in your bubble.

The doctor says it shouldn’t be any riskier – but only as long as their workplace is following proper mask protocols.

"As long as the place they work is sticking to the universal masking, those folks should be safe," he said.

Margolius says a lot of cases he's seeing are people exposed to someone they're close to who they didn't think would contract the virus. He recommends keeping your bubble very small right now, like to one other household if possible. He also believes everyone should continue to follow CDC health guidelines of wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of social distance, and washing your hands.

Ohio has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, causing health experts and Gov. Mike DeWine to plead with citizens to avoid large gatherings such as normal Thanksgiving celebrations.