Experts concerned about potential impacts of wintertime on COVID-19 spread

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As winter approaches, experts have raised concerns about what impacts the season may have on the spread of coronavirus.

With colder temperatures, people tend to move activities inside, something Dr. Craig Barker with University Medical Center said changes the airflow dynamic.

“We don’t have that West Texas wind blowing particles away from us, so you are going to share air with anybody when you are indoors,” said Dr. Barker. “If that person, or you, are spitting out viral particles, you have a better chance at ingesting enough to get sick.”

This is why UMC Director of Infection and Prevention, Renae Yates, said continuing practices such as social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask are more important than ever.

“If we drop any of the precautions that we are taking currently that will only elevate the risk,” said Yates. “I have heard it being said that, ‘since I’m wearing the mask anyway, I am not going to get a flu shot,’ but this is not the year you want to move away from that good practice.”

Dr. Barker emphasized there are still unknown factors, but a mask can still aid in not spreading either virus to others.

“A person with a mask who is sick is going to spit out fewer fluid particles,” said Dr. Barker. “Although the masks aren’t going to completely filter the flu coming in, you decrease that viral load that you are getting from someone near you.”

Dr. Barker said if you have recovered from the virus yourself, you can donate COVID Convalescent Plasma within 28 days. The antibodies in the plasma can help treat people currently hospitalized with coronavirus.

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