"Great certainty" of second coronavirus wave, health experts warn

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 4:59 PM EDT
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Governor Jim Justice is

"We know that as we go back out again, we have to be extra careful," said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia's coronavirus czar, during Governor Justice's daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

While COVID-19 cases are starting to level off in West Virginia, health experts say a second wave of cases is expected.

"In [my opinion] it is with great certainty that there will be waves of this virus in the months ahead. It is the uncertainty as to the intesity of the waves," said Dr. Mark Povroznick, Chief Quality Officer and Chairman of Infection Control at United Hospital Center.

While coronavirus is expected to continue spreading, Dr. Kathy Moffett, Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at WVU Medicine says we can still take advantage of the reopening.

"We can still go get haircuts and go to some of the stores that are open and business, come to the doctor - but we do it safely. So that we are respecting the social distancing. I am wearing a mask, I am washing my hands, I am taking hand sanitizer," said Dr. Moffett.

A vital aspect of reopening and fighting the second wave of spread is monitoring testing results.

"If you have a registry and you have a way to really look at testing data very quickly, it is useful to see if you start to see a bit of an uptick in transmissions," said Dr. Sally Hodder, professor and director of West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Dr. Hodder worked with WVU Medicine to create a registry of COVID-19 testing, both in positive and negative results.

"I think it is going to be very important for second wave to look and see if there is increased transmissability going on before we have the hospitals full," said Dr. Hodder.

She is also working with agencies nationwide to compile this registry with other state registries to create a national picture of COVID-19 spread.

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