Doctors said stay-at-home order extension is needed for public safety

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 6:41 PM EDT
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Some people are upset the Governor's stay-at-home order has been extended, but doctors are supporting it and said it's for the greater good of public health.

Without the extension, the curve the state has been trying to flatten will spike.

Laura Harris, Assistant Professor Davenport University says "If we do start to come out of dormancy too soon, we're going to see a spike instead of a plateau and things start all over again."

Dr. Dale Jackson of Sparrow Hospital said people who are the healthiest and who have already had the virus will be the first ones to come out of extreme social distancing, like staying at home.

Doctors are concerned for older adults, even those without pre-existing conditions.

Diabetes, asthma, and chronic diseases can put someone at risk for severe illness if they contracted COVID-19.

Doctors said anyone in the at-risk category should stay at home longer than the extension.

But, Dr. Jackson said even if someone is not in the high-risk category, they should still stay home passed the extension date.

"Even if you don't have serious pre-existing conditions, just being older puts you at a little bit higher risk for serious disease if you become infected. That population may need to continue the extreme social distancing for several more months."

Doctors said COVID-19 might go away in the summer due to the humidity, but could come back during flu season.

Dr. Jackson said, "We expect it to come right back with flu season. It may look a little different by then because we're expecting to have some identified evidence-based treatments at that point."

Dr. Jackson said after the extension ends, people should continue to wear face masks.

"We can save thousands of lives doing that. It sounds easy, but behavioral culture change is challenging, but I know we can get there."

Experts said if the public doesn't continue to use social distancing, another extension could be put in place for June or July.

As of now, there is no vaccine for COVID-19.

Dr. Jackson said he believes one will be available by the end of the year or early 2021.

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