Columbus health official: COVID-19 spike depends on community’s behavior

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Local health officials say there is the potential for a spike in coronavirus cases before a second wave hits.

People are wanting to get back to their normal lives, but there’s a new normal with face coverings and social distancing guidelines.

Around Columbus, there’s a mix of people who follow and don’t follow those guidelines, and the same goes for people concerned about a potential spike.

Tricia Hickman and Amy King both don’t wear coverings every time they go out.

“Not that we should put ourselves in dangerous situations but we do have to continue living to some degree,” said Hickman of Columbus

Both women also do not believe in being too worried about a potential COVID-19 spike.

“For all of us to be fearful, I’m just not like that,” said King.

For others, the fear is there because of what they see when they do go out in public.

“You see someone touching everything and you don’t know where they’ve been either,” said Abigail Hall of Columbus.

Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts says there’s a risk associated with every activity people do, and she hopes people are being smart because there’s a real potential for a spike.

“It’s pretty clear you walk down the street and you see a lot of people not following the regulations,” said Emilio Irizarry of Columbus.

Testing in Ohio has increased and is now offered to anybody who wants a test in order to catch community trends before it gets out of control. 

“Our numbers have not gone up significantly in terms of our cases per day,” said Dr. Roberts.

She added in the coming months, because of businesses reopening and protests happening, the people who control the spike are people following the recommendations.

“The behavior of all Ohioans, including us here in central Ohio, will make a huge difference of whether we see a spike in cases or not,” said Dr. Roberts.

Hospital capacity is still something health officials are keeping an eye on, especially if Ohio hits a spike soon and the Columbus Convention Center is still ready to be used if needed.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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