SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – As May 1 approaches and we get closer to the gradual reopening of Ohio, there are a lot of questions about what that will look like.
The next few weeks are going to tell a lot. We will be able to gauge if what we are doing now to slow the spread is going to continue to work when things start to open up.
Local doctors said we will see some sort of second spike or bump around the time of reopening and more cases will be reported. Some of that will be from increased exposure and also the number of those being tested.
“I do suspect we are going to have a little bump in cases, but we don’t know if we are going to have a bump in cases unless we get the testing,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla, a doctor at the Family Practice Center of Salem. ” A lot of my patients are itching to get back outside, itching to get back to work. I am trying to caution them that we don’t want to relieve these restrictions and the cases go back up, and we have to nail them down again.”
Health care professionals are also going to use more methods to track the origins of new COVID-19 cases with contact tracing. It’s something health care workers have already been using but in the coming weeks, we’re going to start hearing the term more and more.
Tracing occurs when a patient tests positive for COVID-19 and they have to look at their history going back 14 days. This is going to help doctors and health care workers track hot spot areas and make sure proper procedures are taken.
Tracing is going to be one of the main tools we use to help reopen the country. It can allow a more targeted group of people to quarantine while the rest of society begins to move around.
Contact tracing could be led by health departments or doctors.
“It’s people who are asking the questions and are contacting the people who have been exposed. If you can imagine if you were positive today, you can trace yourself back 14 days to where you were at – the pharmacy, the grocery, or a do it yourself type of store,” Sevilla said.
There is no prefect way to trace, but the information is an important tool.
Another form of testing will come in the form of blood tests. They will reveal if a patient has already been infected with the virus or had built up an immunity.
With all that, time will be the biggest indicator of how well we are doing and how much the virus has spread throughout the total community.