New COVID cases coming from asymptomatic spread

Coronavirus

GREENSBORO, N.C. — You could be spreading COVID-19 and not even know it.

New data from the CDC shows more than half of cases are caused by people who have the virus but don’t get sick.

As hospitals continue to struggle with staffing and capacity, local health experts warn we’re playing a dangerous game. 

59% of COVID transmission comes from people without symptoms. You could be out to eat at a restaurant or go for a run with a few friends not in your household and unknowingly expose yourself and others to the virus. 

“If we continue this course, and I think we are continuing this course, the trajectory looks really horrible,” said Dr. Cynthia Snider, infectious disease specialist at Cone Health. 

Health experts are sounding the alarm as COVID-19 cases in the Triad spiral further out of control. Infectious disease doctors are admitting they underestimated the asymptomatic spread. 

“Those few days before those symptoms occur, they are shedding very high virus,” Dr. Snider explained. 

Dr. Snider who has been working with some of the sickest patients at Cone Health tells FOX8 the rise in this transmission is a direct result of holiday gatherings and ignoring the 3 W’s. 

“I think we really have to be selfless at this time. Our actions really have to be for the good of our community and trying to refrain going out to several places. The fear that we had earlier in the spring of trying to minimize our activity, that needs to come back into play,” Dr. Snider said.  

She told FOX8 you should consider anyone outside your family a potential carrier. 

“If your kids are playing on a playground, with other kids, it’s super important for everybody to wear a mask because you’re in close proximity to somebody, and you don’t know if they potentially are sick,” Dr. Snider stated. 

It’s news that worries Jocelyn Williams. 

“It freaks me out when I see people not wearing masks. I think we need to get more than a 6-foot distance [apart]. I’m talking 10 or 12 feet,” Williams said. 

John Motsinger has watched three people close to him die from the virus and wishes more people would take the consequences more seriously. 

“If half the people are spreading it, and they’re unaware, just putting on a mask makes sense. It’s…the lowest obligation you have,” Motsinger said.  

And it will bring some relief to local hospitals and help the staff catch their breath. 

“Our hospitals are filled and we want to, with patients that need such crucial care, we don’t need anymore sick patients with COVID coming in. If it can be prevented any way by someone’s actions, it’s the way to go,” Dr. Snider concluded. 

Dr. Snider also mentioned if you work in an office, even if there’s only one other person in the room, it’s a good idea to keep your mask on because you could unknowingly transmit the virus. 

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