Doctors: Expect to live with COVID-19 for foreseeable future

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) Doctors say we should expect to be living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.

Friday at a Clinton Country Health Department Press Conference, Dr. Wouter Rietsema of the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital said he thinks the coronavirus will live in the community and hospitals until a vaccine is made.

He said the best-case scenario is the number of cases will remain low, but worst-case is there will be another surge if things start to reopen and people don't follow social distancing protocol.

"Do not think that if the stay-at-home order gets lifted, whether its May 15th or another date, that this will go away. In fact, if you start opening up things, one of the most important public health things we can do other than trying to maintain social distancing is wearing a mask. It's called universal source control and it's critically important," Rietsema said.

Rietsema says the mask is to protect others from you.

The virus can be contagious for 24 hours before it shows symptoms.