NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Sunday is National Grandparents Day, which is normally a time for happy family gatherings. But, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of those reunions are likely on hold.

Time spent with grandparents is emotionally and socially beneficial for everyone, but that could be risky this year, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

Studies show young children can shed lots of coronavirus, even when they don’t have any symptoms. Plus, most grandparents are elderly, the age group most likely to get seriously ill – and even die – from COVID-19.

Social media is full of examples of the lengths families will go to reunite grandparents and grandkids, while still trying to be safe: everything from hazmat-like suits to plastic sheets.

MORE: Long Island Family Gets Creative To Hug Grandmother Battling Cancer

Still, public health experts say to proceed with caution.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“Do we have any symptoms suggestive of coronavirus? And if we do, it would be important to have ourselves checked and also be very judicious about waiting so that the symptoms are not with us for a good period of time,” said Dr. Ardeshir Hashmi of the Cleveland Clinic.

Wait until you’re symptom-free for at least 14 days. If older grandparents have underlying health issues like diabetes, obesity, heart or lung disease, cancer or if they’re taking medications that suppress the immune system, it’s best to try a different kind of visit — like having visitors stand outside on the porch and keep grandparents safe behind a closed door or window.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s not as satisfying, but staying behind a barrier is more protective.

Dr. Hashmi said outdoor visits are best. If you must be indoors, open a window or run a fan to disperse any virus. Of course, wear masks and try to maintain social distancing.

You don’t want children thinking they got “Nanna” or “Pop-Pop” sick.

For the top questions people have been asking about the coronavirus, visit cbsnewyork.com/max, and go to facebook.com/cbsnewyork to submit your question.

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