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Reason for hope and confidence in fewer positives

UPMC has seen zero positive COVID-19 cases among all of its health care facilities and senior communities, UPMC officials recently announced in one of their weekly briefings. And, many other health care providers are seeing fewer positives and more recoveries, they said.

Environmental changes have contributed to this welcomed news, including warmer weather, increased social distancing and more courses of care that have become available for those who have contracted COVID-19.

That news offers tremendous hope as our region gets back to business in the green phase.

Still, we should continue to exercise caution and not discard the progress that has been made in keeping the coronavirus from widespread infection in our area.

Meanwhile, we are hoping for a vaccine, and UPMC is among those working on one. Three different approaches are in development at UPMC and reportedly are in the trial and clinical phases.

Dr. Donald Yealy, UPMC chair of emergency medicine, said that while mitigation efforts have been successful to date, other risks come from people delaying health care for a host of physical problems, from treatment for strokes, cancer care and dialysis.

“There is a real risk to delaying health care,” he said, reminding that our society must remain diligent with our handwashing, distancing and staying home when sick.

We would encourage anyone who has delayed treatment to get in touch with their health care provider and do what is necessary to keep the coronavirus from indirectly claiming more lives.

In fact, have confidence in your medical providers to be taking steps to assure your safety in their facilities. We have all seen the additional cleaning in our workplaces, grocery stores and other outlets providing essential services. It only makes sense that health care providers are also making sanitization a priority.

We suggest people heed Dr. Yealy’s words: “I hope you feel confident in getting back to your life. Together we control the virus in our communities.”

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