Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County official talks coronavirus exposure for daily activities

Local News
people walking with masks on

Group in downtown Dayton wears masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine said Monday coronavirus cases are rising in the Miami Valley and across the state. He said increased testing is part of the reason for that spike, but community spread is thought to play a factor as well. 

Public Information Officer Dan Suffoletto at Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County (PHDMC) said it is important to be aware of environments that pose increased exposure risks in order to control the spread. “As businesses reopen, more people have places to go, more people are coming together through work and through other activities and that is what is causing the spread.”

Suffoletto said in Ohio only employees who work with the public are required to wear masks at this time, but using one is a critical prevention method for those who still want to participate in normal interactions, or don’t know the exposure risk for certain activities.

2 NEWS asked people out walking in downtown Dayton whether they felt certain activities posed a high, medium, or low risk for exposure to coronavirus. Jogger Anthony Williams’ answers mostly agreed with those of PHDMC but he wasn’t sure about the risk for going on a date with a new person.

“I would think it would be moderate to high, just because you don’t know the individual, but because it’s only one person you’re going to be around, I would say it’s moderate to high.”

Suffoletto said this scenario could pose a high risk due to the close proximity of two unfamiliar individuals. He explained other high exposure activities could include visiting crowded establishments without a mask and traveling on planes, buses, trains, or other enclosed vehicles with strangers.

A moderate risk activity may include social distancing in a public place with friends outside the household.

Suffoletto says traveling in a car alone or taking a walk present low coronavirus exposure risk. He added, some environments like a backyard barbecue, may pose a varying level of risk. Outdoor parties where familiar friends bring their own food and utensils, and practice social distancing are typically low risk, while gatherings where attendees share food and don’t wear masks are considered high risk.

Suffoletto further stressed the importance of taking preventative measures in every environment, by wearing face coverings and adhering to social distancing practices in most settings until a cure or treatment is released for the virus.

“At this point, there’s no vaccine and there’s no reliable treatment, so we’re in this situation for the foreseeable future.”

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