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Why shelter-in-place can slow coronavirus spread

Posted at 6:47 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 19:53:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With local leaders strongly considering sheltering-in-place -- not leaving your home with only a few exceptions -- over concerns about the coronavirus spreading, a doctor explains how that measure can slow or stop the spread of diseases.

“I think shelter-in-place -- it’s an extreme measure that can be utilized if the situation is getting out of control," Driscoll Children's Hospital Director of Infectious Diseases Dr. Jaime Fergie said.

The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District reports seven cases of the novel coronavirus COVID 19 in Nueces County, and all of the patients got infected in other communites. Local leaders believe sheltering-in-place now could prevent or strongly restrict transmission of the virus within our community.

"I realize the fact that people want to (shelter in place) very early, because it will be two or three weeks before you see the evidence of any extra measures you take,” Dr. Fergie said.

Groups of more than ten people are already banned in Nueces County, and Dr. Fergie thinks that restriction and others might be enough to keep COVID 19 in check here.

“I think there’s a lot of intervention that has taken place, and hopefully they’re going to be effective,” he said.

Sheltering-in-place would be the next step, keeping people away from anyone they don't live with already, to keep them away from infected people and their germs. It would likely include punishment for people who are ignoring current social distancing requirements of not gathering with more than ten people.

“If there is non-compliance -- if people are still getting together in large groups and they’re not following the recommendations -- an order like that it would force people not to congregate," he said.