COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans have, by all accounts, been doing an exemplary job of "flattening the curve" during this coronavirus pandemic, but as Gov. Mike DeWine has said, "This is a marathon, not a sprint."
We have a long way to go before we can start getting back to any semblance of "normal," and there are many things we can to to stop the spread of the disease. To discuss some of these options, DeWine welcomed Dr. Mark H. Weir from the Ohio State University to talk at his daily press briefing.
Weir repeated the consensus that COVID-19 is primarily spread through droplets from coughing or sneezing, but went more in-depth as to how the germs can infect others through cross contamination on certain surfaces. For example, is a person with the virus coughs or sneezes into their hand and then touches a surface, the germs can live for a certain amount of time on that surface, allowing anyone who touches it and then their face to possibly become infected.
Although it is tougher for viruses to spread through surfaces in an everyday, uncontrolled environment, it is still a concern, and Weir says the best way to combat this is to put up "barriers" by yourself. As we know, the most effective of these barriers involve washing your hands, cleaning surfaces, and maintaining social distancing.
Weir also recommends putting filters on air conditioning and heating systems, and says heat and freezing can be very effective in damaging the germs (although it's not a "silver bullet). As far as masks go, while he believes they are good at helping protect those around you, he agrees with other experts that they are not a substitute for social distancing.
The remarks could give a clue as to how Ohio's "slow" reopening starting May 1 could occurr, and Weir stresses that things must be gradual to prevent a sharp surge in virus cases. Watch both DeWine's and Weir's full remarks again in the player below: