Doctor: More COVID-positive cases expected as restrictions loosened and school starts

Dr. Hoa Nguyen (PNC photo)

On Monday, the Joint Information Center reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 out of 819 tests performed from July 30 to August 1.

Dr. Hoa Nguyen, the chairman of Governor’s Physicians Advisory Group, said an increase in COVID-19 cases is expected now that restrictions have been lifted.

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“You know, as we relax the quarantine and everything back to 100% occupancy, we can expect an increase,” Dr. Nguyen said in an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.

But the doctor said the more significant statistic is the number of hospitalizations and at present, this is quite low, with only two hospitalizations.

“The only thing that we’re concerned about right now is the unvaccinated population. Almost all the hospital admissions right now are unvaccinated personnel. And we probably expect that to go up a little bit more as some people will have more gatherings at this point. So we really recommend that people go in and get their vaccination,” he said.

The doctor said another factor that could increase the number of COVD positives is the reopening of school.

He said only about 34% of the children from the age of 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

“So I’m highly encouraging the parents to get their children vaccinated, either through Public Health or through private clinics. But they need to do this very soon,” Dr. Nguyen said.

He added that people, even those who have been vaccinated should continue to wear face masks because the Delta variant of the virus is highly transmissible.

Unlike the other COVID-19 variants, Dr. Nguyen said fully vaccinated people can still transmit the Delta variant to other people because the viral load is so high.

“So you have to protect yourself and the people around you. Continue to wear your mask,” Dr. Nguyen urged.