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Health guidelines remain as states reopen from COVID-19

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 23:54:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS — While Indiana has seen a steady drop in reported COVID-19 cases since the middle of April, several states including Florida, Arizona and Texas have seen a surge in their cases in the past few weeks.

A doctor in Indianapolis doesn't want the same thing to happen in Indiana and he's urging people to remember the coronavirus pandemic is not over and safety recommendations still apply.

Dr. Christopher Belcher, an infectious disease doctor at Ascension St. Vincent, has been on the front lines of the pandemic since the spring.

"Really at the beginning we were struggling to keep afloat, flailing in the water," Belcher said.

But that's not the case anymore.

"Now we're at a good place, swimming but you can't ask us to go much faster," Belcher said. "We're going to tire out and go back to flailing."

Whether people are protesting racial injustices or sitting outside enjoying a meal on Mass Ave., these last few weeks have been full of people ignoring some, if not all, the guidance provided by doctors.

"Social distancing, keeping that distance of at least six feet between people is very important as well as wearing masks," Belcher said. "And, if you're in a high-risk group, avoiding social situations as much as you can."

Belcher said he can sympathize with people who are getting tired of wearing a mask every time they leave the house.

"Doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists — people who have to wear them their entire shift there — we feel for you," Belcher said. "We know exactly what it's like to have those masks on, but it is very important."

The decision to wear a mask is very important because it could save somebody's life.

"This is mostly spread by these respiratory droplets, spread by talking, sneezing, coughing," Belcher said. "They're large and they can be easily captured by a mask and you can prevent someone else from getting sick."

Public health experts said more testing is not the reason behind the increase of positive tests in certain states, otherwise, there would be a surge everywhere. They point to businesses reopening and people relaxing social distancing guidelines as the culprit.