Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, experts say we still won’t be in the clear

Coronavirus

Local officials say it will take time to return to life as we knew it before COVID-19

(WKBN) – As President Donald Trump and now neighboring governors start planning for the nation’s economy to reopen, some are looking to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to lift the orders put in place a month ago for the end of April.

But then what?

As we draw closer to that date, local officials say it will take time to return to life as we knew it before COVID-19, warning that we’re still not out of the woods just yet.

“It’s very important that we continue to stay at home and we do not get relaxed,” said Mahoning County Public Health Commissioner Ryan Tekac.

But even if the restrictions are lifted and now-closed businesses are allowed to reopen, experts think we will all need to get used to a new version of “normal.”

“I do think that life is going to change moving forward,” said Mahoning County Public Health Medical Director Dr. James Kravec.

Dr. Kravec said while local hospitals will eventually start scheduling many of the elective procedures and tests that were canceled, he believes there will be a phasing in of services over a couple of months.

“Even from a hospital standpoint, hospitals are working through ‘what does the new normal look like’ as far as office visits, as far as surgeries, as far as visiting hours,” Dr. Kravec said.

But as warmer weather may bring people closer together again, health departments are likely to continue pressing the message of social distancing and other protective measures.

“Because not only as we’re moving into these next couple months and we come back into the fall season, it’s not only COVID-19 that we may be worrying about, you’re getting into the flu season as well,” Tekac said.

Which some fear will leave us right back to where we are now.

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