Columbus, OH,
15:58 PM

WMFD - COVID-19 Update With Dr. Joe Gastaldo

We are nearing the first anniversary of Ohio's first COVID-19 case. So much has changed in nearly 12 months. From the disease itself, to the vaccine, there is a lot of ground to cover with infectious disease experts. OhioHealth medical director of infectious diseases, Joe Gastaldo, MD, talked to Jay Fox with WMFD in Mansfield about the state of COVID-19 about where we have been, and where we are going.

"We had our first case of confirmed in the United States in January, but we didn't see our first case locally until weeks later," Dr. Gastaldo said. "When you see the positivity rates, it takes your breath away."

Dr. Gastaldo tells WMFD that we have learned so much about this novel virus throughout this journey, but it has been a very difficult road to get here.

"When you have a pandemic, you want to have succinct messaging to the public that they understand and to be transparent," Dr. Gastaldo said. "As we learn more, things will change, that is science. As we talk vaccines now things will change, and it's good to acknowledge that."

We know that people can carry symptoms with this disease and show no outside symptoms, making it a very challenging disease even for the best and brightest.

"Mitigation strategies were clunky at first, and as we have seen, they work well," Dr. Gastaldo said. "We want people to physically distance, wash hands, and wear a mask.  We don't want people to pick and choose."

With variants now making their way into the United States, these strategies will be critically important, along with the vaccine.

"The vaccines, in my medical opinion, are safe," Dr. Gastaldo said. "When you can, get the vaccine. These vaccines will stop people from dying, they will stop so many people needing to be hospitalized.  We have effective vaccines, with more on the way. They have been studied in clinical trials."

If you would like to see the entire interview, click here on the WMFD logo below.