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Published on May 18, 2020

COVID-19 Is Not Over Yet: Steps to Stay the Course as States Re-Open

COVID-19 is Not Over: Steps to Stay the Course as States Re-Open

Chief Physician Executive Bruce Swords, MD, PhD, talks about why social distancing is still important and what you can do to help keep our communities safe in this week's 2 Your Well-Being discussion with WFMY News 2.

If people do not continue to social distance, what will happen?

“It's pretty clear what will happen, and we know this based on our own experience in this country, is the disease will increase. People will transmit this disease just like they have for the past several months, and the only reason that we are seeing that there are fewer cases in the country now than there were previously, is because of social distancing.”

What should people do to help control COVID-19 as more areas reopen? Is social distancing one of those key factors?

“Yes. It's one of them. It's probably the most important. The other action that people can take is to continue to wear masks. Masks are important out in public, especially in areas where there's a high density of people, and I'd remind everybody that the masks are not as much for your protection as they are to protect others from you potentially having COVID-19.”

As we practice social distancing, an important way to help our community through the pandemic is to donate blood. Can you talk about donating blood during COVID-19?

Yeah, great question. And it's a need in our community. Thanks for asking. It turns out that people who regularly donate blood are doing that less often now, and I think it's because they're trying to practice social distancing and stay away from each other. Donating blood is safe. It's important for patients who have COVID-19, because they frequently require blood, and it would be a direct ask from your hospitals, your physicians, to please go donate blood, because it helps patients who have COVID-19... there is no risk of donating blood, period.”

OneBlood is Cone Health's blood supplier. Are you interested in donating? Visit to schedule an appointment.

What about going to the emergency room? Is that safe to do if I’m experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke?

“Absolutely. Across the country, there are fewer people who are seeking emergent care for conditions where they really should be seeking emergent care. Do not stay at home with even the slightest concern of a stroke or a heart attack. Go to the emergency departments. Our health systems, our hospitals are safe. Seek care when it's emergent.”

2 Your Well-Being

Cone Health and WFMY News 2 are excited to partner together to provide health and wellness information for you and your family. Watch Cone Health experts on television and online.

Tune in to WFMY News 2 every Monday to watch health segments on a variety of wellness topics.