I wanted to reach out to you all today to give you an update on the COVID-19 pandemic situation. As Texas has been quickly reopening the economy and relaxing restrictions, there have been many people who believe that this pandemic is “over and done with.” I want to give you a clinical perspective, medical perspective and, what I believe as a healthcare worker, the more accurate perspective.
This coronavirus pandemic is far from over. Particularly in North Texas, we are seeing a surge in cases all around the Metroplex and in fact, the state as a whole. This second wave or “surge” is real. The Metroplex had 570 new cases on Thursday, June 18th. I encourage you to look at this data more in-depth if you would like by going to this link from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The conversation surrounding the reasons for the surge are appropriate. Yes, we are testing far more than we were earlier in the pandemic. Yes, social distancing and mask usage has declined. Yes, more asymptomatic people are being identified. All these things are contributing to an increase in cases.
I am reaching out to you today, encouraging you to stay the course. Social distancing has been effective. Mask use has been effective. Cough hygiene, proper hand washing, and surface decontamination have been effective.
There is still so much we do not know about this virus, about testing and about treatment. I am encouraged by the enormous response from the medical and scientific community in trying to learn what we can to change the course of this pandemic. There are many good resources online. The World Health Organization and the CDC give constant updates on the most up-to-date knowledge that they can share. Please keep in mind that much of the news you here may or may not be valid and I encourage you all to ask questions, remain hopeful and take care of your families and yourself.
If you develop symptoms that you feel may be related to coronavirus infection, alert your healthcare provider and isolate yourself at home.
Resist the urge to relax the practices that you have already grown accustomed to employing. Wear masks when you are out and about, and certainly as our economy is reopened, your practice of keeping yourself and your family safe have never been more important.
Stay healthy. Stay safe.
Dr. Jason Siegel, MD