Local Medical Staff Fear Possible COVID Resurgence as Travel Increases

Possible Resurgence with Travel

With many going on spring break and Easter right around the corner, some medical staff are concerned a COVID-19 resurgence could happen as travel increases.

“I am fearful of increased cases as people travel,” said Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, medical director of infection control at Edward Hospital. “I think as this has been going on people are getting tired of quarantining, they’re seeing some decrease in cases compared to December and January and people think it’s ok to let their guard down, it’s not ok to let your guard down.”

Dr. Pinsky’s main recommendation is to avoid travel, especially those who haven’t received two doses of the vaccine. Even then, he said it takes two weeks after the second dose to be fully immunized. Another concern is for younger people and the general public since most aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet.

What to Do If You’re Unvaccinated

But for those unvaccinated who do choose to travel “the most important thing is to protect yourself from getting infected. That would mean wearing a mask, keeping your nose and mouth covered at all times, staying away from crowds, keeping at least six feet of distance from others,” said Pinsky.

What if I’m Vaccinated?

While those who are fully vaccinated have a lower risk of getting infected and transmitting the virus, Pinsky still warns people to be careful.

“The CDC did give recommendations that fully immunized individuals can gather with other fully immunized individuals without masks,” said Pinsky. “However if you’re in public, you still need to mask because you can still get infected. The vaccines are 75-95 percent effective, it’s not 100 percent effective.” Anyone who isn’t fully immunized should wear a mask and stay six feet away during meals.

Shift in Patient Demographics

As older individuals are receiving the vaccine, Pinsky said Edward Hospital is seeing a shift in admitted COVID patients. “We’re not seeing nursing home patients getting admitted like we did before, we’re seeing fewer patients over 65 getting admitted,” said Pinsky. The median age of patients the hospital now sees is those in their 50’s.

Pinsky said the hospital hasn’t had any COVID patients who have been fully vaccinated, but some patients are those between the first and second dose. The number of patients at Edward hospital peaked in November with 97, and has steadily declined throughout 2021. As of March 26, Edward is treating 14 inpatients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Pinsky knows it’s been a difficult time for the community, but asks everyone to be patient for a little longer.

“The vaccines are here and it won’t be long before everyone has a chance to be fully immunized,” said Pinsky.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.

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