FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lee Health spent a good amount of time addressing Southwest Florida’s questions about COVID-19 on Facebook Live Wednesday.
They responded to questions like “Can you contract COVID-19 more than once?” and “What should teachers do this school year?”
Dr. Larry Antonucci and Dr. Alex Daneshmand started with an update moving past the surge. Last month they had as many as 300 patients in their hospitals within a day.
“We’re starting to see those numbers come down a little bit,” said Dr. Antonucci. “Today for instance we had 180 patients with COVID-19 that are in our hospitals. About 38 of those are in the ICU, and about 28 of those are on ventilators.”
Regarding immunity and ending face mask guidelines, Dr. Daneshmand says one or two things need to happen first. 1. Scientists develop a reliable vaccine. 2. People develop what’s called “herd immunity.”
“Enough of our population in our community have been exposed to it that they have some type of antibodies that remembers internally that they can respond to it,” said Dr. Daneshmand.
As in respond in the way your body does to a common cold, and fights it off faster. But there’s no telling how long that will take.
“Until that time, we do need to wear masks,” said Dr. Daneshmand.
On top of this very active pandemic, flu season is right around the corner.
“I would expect the flu - it probably will be the same flu. I think hopefully with the vigilance that our community provided the masking, I would hope that it would not be as bad as our regular seasons,” said Dr. Daneshmand.
As for teachers debating whether or not they want to teach in the classroom this school year, he says use your discretion. It’s not a simple choice. Protect yourself in the classroom as you would anywhere else or consider alternatives if you have a compromised immune system.