Statewide mask order could help slow the spread of coronavirus, local expert says

HOUSTON – A local health expert said people should assume that everyone they meet could be infected with coronavirus. Dr. James McDeavitt, the Dean of Clinical Affairs at Baylor College of Medicine, said that approach could help slow the spread of the virus, along with face coverings and social distancing.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Thursday requiring most people to cover their faces in public.

“I think it’s a smart move,” McDeavitt said, who doesn’t believe it’s too late to turn around the rising numbers. “We really have to take action now given the growth in the virus, because we’re not going to know what works for another couple of weeks.”

The doctor said the recent surge in cases in Texas is “alarming.”

“It’s a very, very significant surge. If it goes on for an extended period of time, it’s going to really start to stress some of our capacity,” McDeavitt said.

The pandemic has also kept Ginger DeLance-Buono busy. The CEO of Pro Health Medical Staffing said her company is trying to help Houston area providers fill around 200 medical positions, a number that’s higher than normal for this time of the year.

“We’re seeing caregivers that need to manage COVID-19 patients. Then, we need to support the regular census that would happen normally without a pandemic going on,” DeLance-Buono said.

McDeavitt said healthcare providers are learning how to manage the pandemic and can pull in workers from other parts of the country if needed.