“The next 10 days are critical,” Area health officials urge public to practice social distancing

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Local health officials expect for the number of coronavirus cases to surge in the next 10-14 days.

They are strongly urging the public to take the pandemic serious and practice extreme social distancing during the current stay at home order.

Joni Wise, Vigo Co. Health Department Administrator, said it’s going to take everyone doing their part to combat the coronavirus and flatten the curve.

“Keeping the numbers down is going to take people staying home, not going out unnecessarily. If they have to go out, wear a mask and gloves if you have them. Being hyper vigilant on cleaning surfaces and leaving your shoes at the door when you come home,” she said.

Wise said it’s imperative that the public understands the severity of the virus and the effects that come with it.

“It’s not a joke. It’s life or death. Death from COVID virus is a lonely, long, and painful death,” Wise said.

Dr. Alan Stewart, Knox Co. Health Officer, expressed similar sentiments for rural communities.

“As the cases grow, it’s becoming more and more evident that casual contact with others has the possiblity of causing other people to become positive. It’s getting more and more difficult to contain this,” Stewart said.

He emphasized that by protecting ourselves and practicing social distance, we’ll save more lives.

“I use the example of defensive driving. Where you’re encouraged to avoid the other guy and not depend on the other guy avoiding you,” he said. “A lot of the analogy for defensive driving is true for COVID-19. You have to stay at home. You have to avoid other people.”

Wise said the public needs to understand this virus should not be taken lightly.

“People need to understand that this is not a joke. This is not a game. It’s not your average flu. And they need to stay home and take it seriously,” she said.

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