Doctors say remain cautious even though Ohio reports daily COVID-19 cases under 2,000

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — For the first time in more than three months, Ohio has recorded fewer than two thousand new coronavirus cases in a day.  But some Northeast Ohio doctors say, despite the promising numbers, that does not mean the pandemic is coming to an end.

“Let’s celebrate that the cases are down, but let’s not celebrate by getting together with other people,” said Dr. Amy Edwards, pediatric infectious disease physician at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. She says people in Northeast Ohio should not let down their guard.

Monday, Ohio recorded 1,926 new coronavirus case, much lower than in recent months, but still too high.  Dr. Edwards says the reason for the decrease remains unclear. She says one possibility could be the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday surges are subsiding.

“It’s cold outside and it’s snowing and the roads can be icy and I mean, this is kind of a normal time of year that people hunker down in their homes and don’t really do that much anyways,” she said.

Dr. Edwards says pandemics tend to fluctuate and she warns with more contagious variants spreading around the globe another wave of infection is likely.

“We did the first wave, we did the second wave, we did the third wave, the fourth wave is coming…unless we can get vaccinated really, really quickly,” she said.

“We really need to look at things over weeks, rather than days, or a day, to really kind of make an assertion whether we have a direction, in terms of a sustained decrease in cases,” said Dr. Abhijit Duggal, critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Duggal reminds everyone to continue wearing a mask, and following the health precautions outlined by healthcare providers during the pandemic.  He says, even with lower case numbers, everyone should be more cautious and more diligent.

“We see a few cases come down, then people get a little bit complacent, and you know, things kind of go haywire again,” he said.

Both doctors say vaccines will help, but are not making an impact yet.

“When we say that a vaccine is going to have herd immunity or protective effect, usually it’s like when you reach about 70 percent of the population and we are far, far away from that,” said Dr. Duggal.

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