WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita doctor said wearing masks could keep the economy open. As the number and percentage of positive cases continue to rise in Sedgwick County, a Wichita doctor said that means it’s spreading faster.
“That’s concering for us, and what we don’t want to do is have to go back to everybody stay home all the time,” said Dr. Chloe Steinshouer, pulmonary and critical care physician.
She feels the county can avoid that and reverse the trends by wearing masks in public as Governor Laura Kelly is ordering.
“I think it’s reasonable for people to not want to be told what to do, but in this scenario, we need to think about how we can protect our community at large,” said Dr. Steinshouer.
She said masks help to protect pre-symptomatic individuals from spreading the disease to others.
“The majority of the cases that we see spread are coming from people who have the disease but before they start to sense that they have symptoms,” said Dr. Steinshouer. “So you may feel a little tired, or have a little bit of a sore throat or a little bit of a runny nose, and then, several days later you get a dry cough. In those days before then, you’ve been interacting with people and likely spreading COVID-19 to people.”
Dr. Steinshower said it’s important to minimize the number of people who get it to also help minimize the long-term damage that doctors are seeing can result from it.
“So even people with mild forms of COVID people with minimal symptoms or just a little bit of cough or shortness of breath can have long term lung damage, they can develop blood clots or clotting disorders down the way,” said Dr. Steinshouer. “There are several people who have had strokes related to this disease.”
She hopes the county will support the governor’s order and adopt some sort of face covering to be worn in public.
“It will help keep our population safe, it will help reduce the load on our hospitals, but most importantly, it will let Wichita get back to doing the things that they want to do, and it will let it happen faster,” said Dr. Steinshower.