By Robin Clutters

DENVER (CBS4)– While businesses may be opening up, COVID-19 is still top of mind for many of us. That’s why every week, we get your coronavirus questions answered by CBS4 Medical Editor, Dr. Dave Hnida.

For five days in a row last week, the United States hit a single-day record for new coronavirus cases. Colorado is also starting to see another increase in cases.

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“Here in our state, we’re starting to see an uptick in cases,” says Dr. Dave. “Normally you would expect to see a little bit of a rise as you reopen, but at this point in time the rise is becoming more steady.”

Dr. Dave says we don’t want to see the explosion of cases and hospitalizations seen in states like Texas and Arizona.

“We’ve really come quite a long way over the past two months,” says Dr. Dave. “If we continue to see this gradual increase in cases, we’re going to go backwards.”

Dr. Dave says the numbers should be a reminder to all Coloradans about the importance of proper hygiene, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

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“As more coronavirus restrictions are lifted, there is more responsibility. We need to be ever the more vigilant, and should follow the guidelines even more closely than we did weeks and months ago,” says Dr. Dave.

Following proper protocol will also be key for this holiday weekend. While this year’s 4th of July will look a lot different, Dr. Dave says there are ways to celebrate safely.

“You always have to realize the risk is never zero,” says Dr. Dave. “I think if you exercise proper precautions, you can get together and have a barbecue or picnic at your home.”

If you want to host a barbecue, Dr. Dave recommends keeping the guest list low. He says everyone should bring their own plates and utensils, don’t bring shared food items like chips or dip, and recommends families designate one person to serve the food so everyone does not congregate around the grill.

“I think if you do follow a few simple guidelines you can enjoy this weekend as well as the rest of the summer,” says Dr. Dave.

Last week, a new study from the CDC found pregnant women may be at a higher risk of a severe illness from coronavirus than non-pregnant women. The study found expectant mothers are more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to ICU, and even put on a ventilator.

“Your immune system isn’t functioning as well as it could when you’re pregnant. As the child gets bigger, they affect a woman’s lung capacity,” says Dr. Dave. “I think the bottom line is it’s something pregnant women should be extra aware of, and take the necessary precautions to avoid getting coronavirus.”

Q&A with Dr. Dave airs every Monday at 11 a.m. on CBSN Denver.

Robin Clutters

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