Southeast Health expecting second round of COVID-19 infections, doctor says

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — With the second wave of COVID-19 being a real possibility around the world, Dr. Charles Harkness explained what doctors are looking at now and what may happen in the future.

“Well we are anticipating a second round,” said Harkness, chief medical officer of Southeast Health. “We are hoping we don’t have one. There’s are still a lot of factors that we don’t know, but the way we are re-opening is with the belief that if a second round happens we are ready for it.”

The hospital is gearing up to have a stockpile of PPE on hand, and they are trying to increase hospital activity back to normal. While Southeast is not a pediatric center and they have not seen many cases in children, they do warn that children are carriers.

“The problem is how contagious the disease is, and as you get older and you get other core comorbidities, then you get more susceptible and so children can be the carriers and the source of the infection in older people,” Harkness explained.

He advises anyone older than 60 to still be extremely careful with venturing out in public.

“I think that they should go to places where they know that they can stay isolated, physically isolated,” Harkness warned. “They ought to be wearing a mask everywhere they go to protect themselves, wash their hands frequently. I think avoiding going out as much as possible; it should only be for necessity.”

Dr. Harkness believes, at least at southeast health, they’re on the downside of the curve right now, and that’s probably attributed to people actively practicing social distancing.

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