‘Continue what we’re doing as long as possible:’ Disease expert says social distancing must continue

BOSTON (WHDH) - While some politicians, including President Donald Trump, are looking to ease restrictions keeping people from work in the next few weeks, a local disease expert says distancing needs to continue during the coronavirus pandemic while medical professionals deal with a shortage of supplies.

Dr. Shira Doron of Tufts Medical Center told 7News that no one knows how long social distancing measures will need to go on in order to keep hospitals from being “overwhelmed” with the sick and critically ill. Even under current social distancing and stay at home advisories, health care facilities have already run out of protective masks, Doron said.

“Here in Massachusetts we are just beginning, and even though we still have hospital beds and we still have ventilators, we have exhausted the supply of personal protective equipment already,” Doron said. “So it’s really important to continue what we’re doing as long as possible.”

Doron said she was thankful that residents have been making and donating masks, even though they are not at the same level of protection as hospital-grade disposable masks. But hospitals will still take any masks they can get, she said.

“That just tells you how desperate the situation is,” Doron said. “Hospitals are running out of masks right now and so a homemade mask is better than no mask.”

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