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Doctor weighs in on rise in COVID-19 cases in Sedgwick County

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County continues to see a rise in infection. The county is now up to 896 cases up to more than 250 cases since the beginning of the month. While the jump may sound alarming, one doctor said it is not time to close everything down again.

“There are more cases. There’s no arguing that,” said Dr. Robert Wittler, KU School of Medicine Wichita, pediatric infectious disease physician.

As Sedgwick County continues to see a rise in positive COVID-19 cases, Dr. Wittler said it’s not all bad news.

“There’s been a little bit of uplift in hospitalizations,” said Wittler. “But at least in Sedgwick County no one has gone without a ventilator, no one has gone without a bed.”

He said the latest numbers are not an indication the county should return to stay-at-home orders as that comes with its own consequences.

“Obviously, there are effects from being in lockdown. You really cripple the economy and people’s jobs and people do need to make a living to feed their families,’ said Dr. Wittler.

To keep mortality and hospitalization rates low, he believes it’s important to protect the most vulnerable populations.

“I think nursing homes have to be extremely careful, long-term care facilities,” said Dr. Wittler.

He wants people to understand there is still a risk until we get a vaccine, and it’s important to remain vigilant.

“If you’re relatively young and healthy, I think you still have a responsibility to the population as a whole and to yourself and to your family to do what you can do and that means wearing a mask, washing your hands, and trying to do social distancing,” said Dr. Wittler.

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