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Berks COVID-19 Update will Focus on Masks, Vaccines and what to expect this Fall

By County of Berks / COVID-19 Leadership Team

Berks COVID-19 Update will Focus on Masks, Vaccines and what to expect this Fall

Reading, PA — The Berks County Commissioners will host their Media and Public COVID-19 Update TODAY Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 3:30PM on Microsoft Teams Live Event.

Click here to find link to this meeting. This meeting will feature a conversation with two members of the Berks County COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel about the recommendation to wear masks, any new developments about COVID-19 and a possible vaccine and what we should be expecting as we prepare to enter flu season. This Press Event will also be streamed Live to the Berks County Facebook and YouTube pages and air live on BCTV.

Welcome – Commissioner Christian Leinbach

Comments – Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt

Comments – Commissioner Michael Rivera

Introductions of the Panel – Commissioner Leinbach

• Dr. Michael Baxter, MD – Past Chair of Berks County Medical Society. Past Chair of Tower Health Family and Community Medicine

• Debra Powell, MD – Section Chief for Infectious Diseases and Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Tower Health/Reading Hospital. Dr. Powell has been a frequent spokesperson for Tower on issues related to COVID-19 in the media and during town halls and other events.

The Panel will address the following questions and topics:

1. As medical professionals, can you tell us if wearing a face covering is important? Can you please explain the scientific findings behind the recommendation to wear a mask? Are there any dangers of wearing a mask?
2. Now that we have been in the green phase for more than a month, what other measures should residents be taking to continue to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community?

3. Are there any new developments you can tell us about COVID-19? Any new symptoms? What is a “superspreader” and what are your thoughts on the recent studies about children being “superspreaders”?

4. Now that we know COVID-19 is not going away soon and flu season is quickly approaching, how do we chart these waters this fall? Are there signs of a predominant flu coming in? Do you have any recommendations for residents to protect themselves from the flu and reduce the chance of getting hit by both that and COVID-19?

5. What benchmarks must be reached in order for to have a vaccine? Do you have any updates about the status of a potential vaccine?

Question and Answers – Facilitated by Commissioner Leinbach