Second coronavirus wave could be worse if social distancing practices are not followed

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The average number of people admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 in the region has been declining. That success is due to the wide use of social distancing in the area. But, a second wave of coronavirus could be worse than the first.

Dr. Alex Garza, Commander St. Louis Metropolitan Task Force, says that lifting of stay-at-home orders on Monday does not mean the virus is gone. Keeping the numbers declining depends on people doing things like wearing masks in public and frequently washing their hands.

“If we follow all of the guidelines on this slide, we will keep transmissions low and will help curb the spread of the disease in our community. It doesn’t matter where you live, these are things we all need to practice to be safe and keep the economy open,” said Dr. Garza.

Some areas like Jefferson County and St. Charles County reopened a few weeks ago.
He says that there is no way to tell yet if there are spikes in areas that have reopened.

Dr. Garza says that a decrease in the transmission rate is what flattened the curve. But, what happens if people don’t observe good social distancing practices? Their models have projections for rising transmission rates. Those models have higher hospitalizations and deaths from the virus.

But, the task force’s models are only possibilities. They aren’t probabilities. Dr. Garza says that our models right now are really good. We want to keep our transmission rate as low as possible.

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