DES MOINES, Iowa — For an hour, six healthcare professionals on Channel 13 News’ Coronavirus town hall aimed to provide transparency to concerned Iowans and clarify just how easy the virus can be spread. “The way it spreads most often is by large droplets. Just by me talking like this I am producing droplets,” said Dr. Favi Vemuri Chief Infection Prevention Officer at MercyOne in Des Moines and West Des Moines.
Political Insider Dave Price relayed email questions straight from Iowans like ‘Is there a scenario where there just aren’t enough ventilators for everyone?’ Doctor Rosanna Rosa of Unity Point Health said, “We can’t sugarcoat this. It may come to a point where someone needs a ventilator and can’t get a venitlator. There just is no way around that.”
With two-thirds of Iowa counties reporting positive cases, Iowans were asking how severe do symptoms need to be to get tested. “Really the best advice is if you have mild symptoms and you don’t require the hospital, and you may think you have it, you need to stay home and quarantine yourself,” said Dr Christi Taylor Chief Quality Officer at Iowa Clinic.
Another common question was ‘Is it safe to have grandparents visit or provide daycare while parents are working?’ Doctor Taylor said, “You need to be selfless and ask is everybody here well or has anybody been exposed to anybody not well? Depending on the answer, we shouldn’t visit grandparents.”
Iowans were also curious if COVID-19 positive patients will be taking up space in the NICU and PICU areas? Doctor Rosa explained, “The rooms that hold expecting mother’s and babies, those are separate. They won’t mix mothers giving birth with patients under investigation with covid.”
Questions also came in about the safety of grocery stores. Doctor Nicole Gilg Gachiani of Broadlawns Medical Center said, “If you do have to go out into public to the grocery store you should assume that anyone you see may have the disease and therefore do social distancing.”
When speaking about sanitizing groceries when you get them into the house, Dr. Rosa said, “It is ok to wipe it down and that might be enough. If you wipe it down and then wash your hands that might be enough.”
Lastly Doctors weighed in on if Iowans are doing enough to flatten the curve. “We have much more people out than we should be. The chain of transmittion is invisible and the chain can only be cut if we shelter in home,” said Dr. Rosa.