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Important: COVID-19 Testing, Booster, & Visitor Policy

Coronavirus Outbreak House Calls: Dr. Theodore Bailey

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Laura Zabriskie

March 17, 2020
*This is a rapidly changing situation. This video was filmed on March 17, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC website at*

As the COVID-19 virus is spreading, it’s important to know fact from fiction. To help answer your questions, WMAR-2 News hosted house calls for members of the public to ask healthcare experts about the current COVID-19 situation. Dr. Theodore Bailey, MD, JD, MA, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at GBMC addresses vaccines and how to properly protect yourself.

When will a vaccine for COVID-19 become available?

There isn’t a set timeline for when a COVID-19 vaccine will become available to the public. Any vaccine must go through clinical trials to ensure that it is both safe and effective. It will take 12 to 18 months at a minimum to create a vaccine. Because the virus is so new, we don’t have the research to know which people would benefit from a vaccine or whether boosters would be necessary. Other diseases like influenza mutate and need a new vaccine developed every year – this may also be the case with COVID-19. We simply don’t know at this time.

I can’t find hand sanitizer; how do I protect myself from COVID-19?

There has been a rush to buy up hand sanitizer and it’s widely unavailable at this point. Know that while hand sanitizer may be more convenient, washing your hands with soap and water is just as effective.

Does homemade hand sanitizer work?

There is no way to control the ingredients that are being used in homemade hand sanitizer, so there isn’t a way to say whether or not it will be effective. We do know that soap and water and alcohol-based sanitizers (70% or higher) kill the virus. COVID-19 has an outer coating that is very susceptible to being dried out. That being said, there is no evidence that other ingredients kill the virus and it’s unsafe to rely on something that hasn’t been proven.

Can I get COVID-19 from takeout food?

The respiratory droplets that contain the virus can adhere to materials, so it is possible that they could be on a takeout box or bag. This is another example of why disinfecting surfaces and frequently washing your hands is critical to stopping the spread of the disease.

*Click here for more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)*
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