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'If we let our guard down, it’ll come back' | Health expert warns of possible second wave

With more and more states lifting restrictions, public health experts worry about a second wave of coronavirus infections.

ATLANTA — This Memorial Day weekend, thousands of people flocked to Georgia beaches and parks.

Many restaurants have reopened and stay-at-home orders have been eased in most states. But public health experts warn COVID-19 is still around.

“There is no safe. But there are degrees of safer,” said Dr. Brian Castrucci, CEO of de Beaumont Foundation, a public health organization that works with local governments.

It’s been four weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp gave the green light for several businesses to reopen in Georgia.

While recent data from the Georgia Department of Public Health shows the number of COVID-19 patients has decreased from its peak last month, there are concerns about the possibilities of a rebound.

“We still have no therapeutics. And we still have no vaccine,” said Castrucci. “So, there’s not much difference between when we started the stay at home orders and today, except we are a little ahead of the virus. We’ve boxed it in a little. But if we let our guard down, it’ll come back.”

Castrucci said one of the keys to getting back to normal will be increased testing. Similar to the rapid strep or flu test you can take at the doctor’s office, Castrucci believes we need a rapid test for the coronavirus.

“As much energy as we’re putting to get a vaccine, we should put as much energy to get a really reliable and accurate test that can be done quickly,” said Castrucci.

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