WIUM Tristates Public Radio

COVID-19: Physician says "We Can Control This"

Jul 15, 2020

An infectious disease specialist at the University of Iowa said unity is a critical part of stopping COVID-19.

Dr. Jorge Salinas, Hospital Epidemiologist for the health care system in Iowa City, said the infection rate continues to rise in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

So, people should follow all the recommendations health officials have been promoting repeatedly since mid-March. That includes avoiding large groups of people indoors.

Dr. Jorge Salinas, Hospital Epidemiologist, UIHC
Credit UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HEALTH CARE

"We have to be more judicious in the way we socialize. Frequenting bars is a risky activity at this point. Second, we have to have very robust public health infrastructure to do contact tracing to prevent potential outbreaks that may be happening surrounding those bars and restaurants, etc. from spreading to other members of the community." 

The goal is to stop what Salinas calls chains of transmission. Ideally, that means there would be no opportunity to spread the coronavirus to others. 

"It is in our hands. We can control this. We can bring it down. There are countries that have virtually eliminated COVID by following these public health measures. So the future remains in our hands, and it will tremendously depend on how well we can cooperate as a society."

He said it's just common sense to stay six feet from those you don't live with, and wear a face covering when you can't. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and do it frequently, cough and sneeze into a facial tissue or your elbow, and stay home, especially if you're sick.