Doctors concerned about the cold weather’s impact on COVID-19’s spread

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INDIANAPOLIS — The temperatures are dropping and the COVID-19 cases are rising, which doctors expected. As people begin spending more time indoors, healthcare experts beg them to follow guidelines like masking up and social distancing.

“There is nothing magic about being 6 feet inside,” Dr. Ram Yeleti, Community Health Network’s Chief Physician Executive, said. “If you are 6 feet apart and have your face mask off you are still at risk of getting the virus or transmitting it to someone else.”

Yeleti recovered from COVID19 earlier this spring. He reminds us we all have a role to play once again in preventing a surge of cases, therefore overwhelming hospitals.

“Face masks are still important indoors because a lot of places still have poor ventilation so people need to remember, being indoors doesn’t mean you can take your face mask off,” Yeleti said.

Some experts point to ways we could boost our immune systems and improve our health before winter. IU Health’s Infection Prevention Nursing Director Kristen Kelley points out Vitamin D might play a role in the severity of symptoms a patient experiences.

“There have been a couple of studies that have shown lower vitamin D levels could result in more severe COVID but more research is needed so we do want to caution that,” Kelley said.

Kelley advises people to talk to their doctor before adding any Vitamin D supplement to their regimen. She also encourages people to work toward a healthy weight.

“What we do know with COVID is that obesity is a risk factor for more severe COVID disease,” Kelley said.

Dr. Yeleti reports 80% of people getting COVID19 are catching it from people they do not know have it. Remember, Indiana’s mask mandate is in effect until at least November 14th.

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