Ask A Doctor: Is It Safe To Reopen Texas, And Other Questions Answered

A UT Health San Antonio physician answers listeners’ questions about their health during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Michael MarksApril 30, 2020 2:33 pm,

In this week’s installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Fred Campbell answers Texas Standard listeners’ most pressing questions about the coronavirus.

How should Texans conduct themselves now that the state is starting to reopen? Have we “flattened the curve”?

Follow closely the guidance from public health officials even as businesses start to reopen; Campbell said public health expertise is more important than ever right now because the number of cases and deaths are still rising in Texas.

“As someone who respects the opinion of experts in controlling what has been a very, very dangerous kind of situation … it would be important to follow the recommendations of experts in waiting at least a two-week period of time with decreasing cases before we would consider the situation in the community to be safe,” Campbell said.

How do you know if there are COVID-19 cases in your neighborhood?

It’s difficult to know who has the disease, or who might have it but not have symptoms. Campbell said there are lots of cases in more dense, urban areas, but smaller cities and rural areas have cases too. Regardless of where you live, assume you can get the disease from anyone; take precaution with a mask, hand-washing and social distancing.

Are gloves useful?

Gloves are used by medical workers, especially those working with COVID-19 patients. But they’re not especially helpful for the general public. Campbell said they may even give someone a “false sense of security” that they’re safe from the coronavirus; it can still be transmitted if they touch their face with a contaminated glove. Instead of relying on gloves for protection, he said regular hand-washing with soap and water is best.

Can freezing food packaging kill the coronavirus?

In theory, it could work, but without research Campbell can’t say for certain. Instead, he said, if you’re concerned about contaminated packaging you can clean it with a diluted bleach solution.


Web story by Caroline Covington.


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