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Keeping COVID-19 numbers from climbing higher

Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 17:22:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — President Trump testing positive for COVID-19 is a reminder that the disease can strike anyone, and that it's important to follow guidelines set forth by the CDC.

"He's obviously at risk of worse outcomes because of his age, the fact that he's a male, his body mass index puts him into the obese range. Those are all unknown risk factors, we don't know much about his other risk factors," said Dr. John Sellick, an Epidemiologist at Kaleida Health.

There are now more than seven million cases in the U.S., and more than one million people worldwide have died.

"If we've not been taking it seriously up until now with 207,000 deaths in the United States, I'm not sure how much more seriously we should be taking it," said Dr. Sellick.

He said things could get worse as we head into the colder months.

"I think that we would expect to see some increase in cases. We are hoping that people are going to continue to, you know, follow the recommendations for distancing and mask use," he said.

Dr. Sellick said social distancing and wearing a medical mask or a three-layer cloth mask are critical in preventing the spread. He also said it's important to get tested.

The Erie County Health Department website has a map that shows you what types of testing are available near you.

Dr. Sellick recommends putting off any non-essential travel for now. But if you do travel, try to go for an airline that keeps the middle seat open.

Wear face protection and eye protection as well, like safety goggles or a face shield.

"Most modern jet aircraft do have very efficient air filtration systems in them, but if the guy sitting three feet away from you has it and is coughing and you don't have a mask on, then it's not really going to matter if that airplane has a filter in it," said Dr. Sellick.

And wherever you go, remember to wash or sanitize your hands.