GOVERNMENT

Coronavirus Call-in: Utah experts answer questions

Mar 24, 2020, 6:17 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah medical experts answer caller’s questions regarding the coronavirus during this time. These experts have dedicated their time to answer coronavirus questions to further educate the public.

President Donald Trump said he would like to see the nation “opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” which falls on April 12 this year — 19 days away.

On Tuesday during the Coronavirus Call-in Q&A, Jeff Caplan asked Dr. Michael Good, CEO of the University of Utah Health, how long will it be before it’s safe to go back into a restaurant or sit with your co-workers?

“This is a new virus that we don’t have previous experience with. We’re all learning about it together,” medical expert Good said.

He stressed that the key strategy for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to stay physically distant from one another. Though, there are many more questions about the coronavirus that experts have yet to answer.

“We want to remain in contact. Physically distant doesn’t mean isolated,” he said.

Slow down the virus by staying apart

Good challenged all Utahns to think of new ways to do things we used to do before the pandemic all while maintaining a physical distance, hand washing and sanitizing surfaces, which is shown to slow down the spread of the coronavirus in the community.

John of Mapleton called into the show to say he was experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus. His doctor’s office, he said, told him that test results would take 7 to 10 days to come back. He asked if he would not be over the virus in that time. His questions remained unanswered about the coronavirus.

Medical expert Good said ARUP Laboratories at the University of Utah “are hitting” over 1,500 tests a day for coronavirus.

“We think we will be up to 3,000 tests a day by the end of the week,” he said. “We believe we can turn over tests in two days. That testing capability has just in the last few days really come online.”

Teach kids by example

Does anyone on the governor’s task force see all the groups of kids wandering around? Jeff asked Heather Barnum of the same task force’s communications team.

“Children need to get out and play and still experience some of the joy of life and not be afraid to just stick to their rooms during this time or to their screens,” she said.

She said when you go out limit groups to fewer than 10, keep your distance and wash your hands “especially with children, making sure we’re good examples of that.”

“Use common sense,” she advised when taking children out to grocery stores or on errands, all while adhering to the social distancing guidelines.

Barnum advised listeners get the best information from the governor’s task force at coronavirus.utah.gov.

How about smokers and vapers?

Gino of West Valley City called in to ask: Does anyone have data on the response of smokers or vapers to the coronavirus?

“Many individuals that go on to have more severe — and it is often respiratory — illnesses have underlying lung conditions, and certainly, prolonged tobacco use does set one up,” Good said.

He said he didn’t have specific result or studies looking into the effects of coronavirus on patients who smoke or vape.

John of Ogden called in to ask: How does coronavirus affect those with pre-existing conditions?

“I can say all of us every day are constantly trying to learn and become familiar with how coronavirus specifically influences our patients,” Good said. “If I’m a cardiologist, I’ve got to be up to date on how coronavirus impacts heart disease.”

Join KSL either on the radio or on the podcast weekdays to hear your Coronavirus questions answered by the experts. Each day, members of the Utah COVID-19 task force and experts in the health field will be available to speak to your comments and concerns. Leave a voicemail at 801-237-2482 to ask us your virus questions during the pandemic.

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Coronavirus Call-in: Utah experts answer questions