Medical expert answers questions, addresses misconceptions about COVID-19

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Lansing, Mich (WLNS)– As the number of Coronavirus cases in Michigan rise, so do recoveries.
Does that mean you should stop social distancing if you’ve already had the virus?

“For the sake of safety I would argue and advise against that,” Director of EMS and Emergency Preparedness at Sparrow Hospital, R. Dale Jackson, D.O., said. He added that there are still unknowns about how the virus spreads before and after it’s contracted.

Do masks really work?

“They definitely remind us not to touch our face. The face mask also does a couple other things. If we sneeze or cough it contains it and then if someone else accidentally sneezes or coughs around us and we’re not expecting it, it’s a barrier between us and the droplets that are out in the air. If someone is kind of making it a point that even the most simple face mask doesn’t filter certain size particles and stuff, yeah I got that, but from a big picture perspective the mask is a very good, very basic defense against spreading the virus.”

If you’re out in the open air, do you risk catching COVID-19?

“If nobody else is around you’re not at risk for contracting COVID just floating around in the air,” Jackson said.

What about the summer? Will higher temperatures kill the virus?

“Viruses generally, Coronaviruses they don’t like the warmer weather they don’t like ultraviolet light. Whether or not this virus behaves exactly like the flu and starts to slow down in the spring and summer, we’re actually monitoring that now. In some places like Texas for instance it’s warmer and a lot more sunlight, but as they opened up to weeks ago we’re already starting to see spikes,” Jackson said.

As long as the virus is present, Jackson said safety practices should still be followed. Some also wonder if they should avoid hospitals to stay healthy.

“All of the hospitals across the region and across the state have put in strict measures to protect both our patients and our caregivers.”

If you have a major health concern, Jackson said you should not avoid the emergency room. He added, as hospitals begin opening up and more people come in for procedures and routine visits, safety will continue to be a priority.

When it comes to school, there are questions surrounding whether it will be safe to return in the fall. Jackson said it’s important to be prepared for the possibility.

“We definitely need to make plans to return back to school, but also have a plan according to our tiered approach that if we need to back off of that and go back to home learning and video learning that we can do that,” Jackson said.

While there are many predictions about what’s to come, it’s almost impossible to know for sure. That’s why Jackson said they plan for the worst, but hope for the best.

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