By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With boat ramps and parks being open in South Florida, everyone wants out. Particularly those over sixty-five years of age, but is it safe for the elderly to be out and about?

Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, a Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine says, “It is too early for the elderly. I’m telling my patients, everyone is edgy, wants to go out.”

The doctor works with lots of seniors and he is not talking about patients in a nursing home, but those who are used to being active.

“Look, we know that healthy people who exercise more get less bad effects from it. Certainly, a 77-year-old who is in better shape than a 77-year-old who smokes, has congestive heart failure or diabetes, someone like that would be less risk,” Carrasquillo says.

But those with underlying medical issues, those with heart, lung, and ailments present a danger to themselves.

“People getting chemotherapy are high risk, those who have cancer but have been cured without relapse in the last seven years and are in better shape than someone who has cancer and is taking chemotherapy,” the doctor said.

So, what to do for seniors that really have no issues, those who see the crowds on the street and hear about talk about “opening up?” Patience is the word from the doctor and seniors are going to need it.

“I am telling my elderly patients I would feel much better if they wait till July certainly. I would not tell them right now to go outside, exercise, and socialize. That is not the right advice,” Carrasquillo adds.

“I am telling them I would want to be safe and if my mom has to stay one more month in her apartment and not go out and not get sick I think it is worth the risk.”

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