Top infectious doctor talks curbing rising cases numbers without lockdown

Dr. Saag on lockdown

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -It’s safe to say very few people, if anyone, want to see us return to another lockdown like we had last spring. A top infectious disease expert agrees. We spoke with him about how he’d rather see governments tackle rising case numbers.

Stay at home orders or lockdowns are preferred by the medical community to curb COVID cases, but we know they can have a big impact on the economy. Some businesses in Alabama are still struggling from being shut down several months ago. Some were forced to close for good.

“I don’t think anybody really wants to go back to a full lockdown..thats not maybe in the best interest of anyone,” Dr. Michael Saag with UAB’s Infectious Diseases Division said.

Dr. Saag, UAB’s associate dean for Global Health, says instead we should think about where the COVID-19 cases are coming from. Saag tells us right now they appear to be coming from weddings and large gatherings, from middle and high school students coming home and infecting parents and he’s seeing a lot of cases are coming from church services.

“Those are things that we can isolate for just a small period of time while we get this together. I don’t think restaurants and bars should be open for indoor dining or indoor participation for the next little while. That’s my opinion. Those are things that I might adjust,” Saag said.

Saag says if we don’t get a handle on the current COVID surge, our healthcare infrastructure is at risk. He’s asking everyone to do what health experts have been preaching since the pandemic began.

“If all of us did that, we could get this under control without as much of a requirement for closing anything down,” Saag added.

Dr. Saag is hoping Congress will keep funding the CARES act so that if things start to close again then those impacted will get some relief.

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