Infectious disease experts discuss how to prevent spread with the holidays around the corner

Posted at 6:09 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 18:12:01-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With more than 90 counties in the 'red zone' and the positivity rate rising, local health providers are urging the community to get things under control before hospitals become overwhelmed.

Infectious disease experts around Lexington gathered over zoom on Friday to discuss how the community can take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

"We are facing the holidays where there is a lot of pressure to just drop the ball, drop the mask off, and have increased exposure, which will have a consequence down the line," said Dr. Dan Rodrigue of Saint Joseph Health.

All the doctors on the panel agreed to prevent a major surge in cases after the holidays you need to wear a mask, especially when you are around people outside of your household. Holiday gatherings should also be kept very small. College students coming home may also need to quarantine before they are around more vulnerable family members.

"It makes sense if we can pod together. Create a family pod so you're basically visiting after you've gone through a certain period of time to make sure you are safe, and then stay with a pod without a lot of exposure to others, that's the way to do it," said Dr. Rodrigue.

Currently, less than 200 people are being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Lexington and only a third of them are on ventilators, which is far less than at the beginning of the pandemic.

"One thing that's good is we've learned how to take care of these patients better," says Dr. Mark Dougherty of Baptist Health Lexington.

To keep these numbers from going up again, it is crucial that people are careful over the holidays.