The last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been very difficult. But now as we get into May, things in most of the country are improving. The virus is still widespread, but the infection rate generally is decreasing, and hospitals and other health care facilities are operating below capacity.
In the short term, we expect that there may be a small increase in cases as people get more active and things return to normal. But the overall trend is likely to show a continued decline in new infections.
Some experts are concerned that there could be a large spike in the number of cases in the next few months. Although this is unlikely, there are a few things you should continue doing:
- At home: wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with others if you (or they) are sick or have recently been sick.
- Away from home: avoid crowded areas. Try to go to grocery stores and other busy locations during off-peak hours. Consider wearing a mask when out in public.
As the epidemic develops and new information becomes available, you can expect recommendations to change. Things to watch for include:
- Travel and activity restrictions are likely to change frequently
- Masks are always suggested, but there may be situations where masks are mandatory
- Community-wide testing is not recommended now, but as additional testing supplies become available routine testing may be advised
- A vaccine is unlikely until late 2020 at the earliest. When a vaccine becomes available, it will likely be recommended first for high-risk people
For more information:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): coronavirus.gov
- Texas Department of Health and Human Services: www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/opentexas.aspx