Infectious disease specialist weighs in on how new restrictions will help slow virus spread

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:16 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Bars, restaurants, schools, and social gatherings are all facing new restrictions in Kentucky.

“Right now we’re in that very uncomfortable tension of trying to balance further economic devastation versus propagation of the pandemic,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Charles Kennedy said.

Dr. Kennedy from St. Joseph Hospital says the new restrictions will help, but social gatherings are proving to be some of the biggest spreaders of the virus.

“They’re being infected basically because of the social contacts in the community. One of them was at a wedding. I know a number of them had office personnel who are asymptomatic who essentially served as vectors,” Dr. Kennedy said.

Dr. Kennedy explains that just because someone is exposed to COVID-19 doesn’t mean they’ll get the virus. He says the proof is within hospitals.

“There are 11 board certified infectious disease specialists in my practice, and despite extensive exposure in the intensive care unit to critically ill people with COVID-19 who are mechanically ventilated, when you put those mitigation strategies in place and utilize personal protective equipment, not a single position in our group has become infected,” Dr. Kennedy said.

He says this proves that masks and hand washing are ultimately the best strategies to fight COVID-19.

Dr. Kennedy says people will need to stay vigilant until a vaccine is available.

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