Upstate doctor asks public to scale back socialization to keep COVID-19 out of schools

Back to School

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Dr. Stephen Thomas, the chief infectious disease doctor at Upstate Medical University, is asking the public to scale back their socialization to help keep coronavirus out of schools.

Thomas worries that the socialization and mingling that comes with even limited school reopenings will be too much for the infection rate if other social activity isn’t reduced.

Thomas said, “You want school? You’ve got to dial down on the social footprint.”

“We have to decide what is important to us and then make decisions about our behavior. In-school learning has to occur, so, to me, decrease the social circle. Go back to March and April social posture,” advised Thomas.

He means that even for people who’ve been following the rules and safely shopping or going out to eat, to reduce those activities.

“It’s to everyone, whether you have kids or not, whether you keep your kids home or not,” Thomas said about his advice.

As Central New York’s infection rate has stabilized to less than 0.1%, people have gotten comfortable being riskier with family gatherings and neighborhood friends.

“What’s different now than the beginning of the summer is bars are open, restaurants are open… and now the weather is going to turn and people will come back indoors. Something has to give,” said Thomas.

NewsChannel 9 interviewed Dr. Thomas on Tuesday afternoon. To watch that interview, click the player below:


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