PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s unclear when Philadelphia will move into Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan as some rural counties can begin to ease restrictions on Friday. Dr. Rob Danoff oversees a testing site in Bucks County and joined CBS3 to discuss what needs to happen in Philadelphia in order to start the reopening process.
Dr. Danoff says the Philadelphia region needs to have more testing because the area is still a little short.
Health officials are looking to see less than 50 cases for every 100,000 people for 14 days and the city is still seeing a couple hundred of new cases everyday.
“It’s leveled off and we’re seeing a little bit less but it’s still higher than what the governor wants,” Dr. Danoff said. “So we’re going to be awhile yet before it goes to yellow in our particular area.”
The first possible scientifically proven treatment for battling COVID-19, remdesivir, will be available for United States hospitals this week, but Dr. Danoff says it’s not necessarily a game-changer.
“You know, it’s not a game-changer. What it did was, it decreased the time in the hospital from 15 days to 11 days for some of the sickest patients, however we still have to figure out which patients benefit from it the most. We haven’t seen a really good death benefit, in other words, decrease in the amount of death. They’re still kind of looking at that. It was a small amount but it is very promising. So what I would say is, it’s a promising medication, we’re going to build upon it. It seems to stop the virus for some people, it’s a good start and it will help some people for sure.”
The testing site Danoff oversees in Bucks County sees more than 100 people per day and they are increasing their testing for anyone getting surgery because surgeons want to be sure the patient does not have the coronavirus or they are taking extra precautions.
Danoff says the site is still seeing a high percentage, about 30%, of new cases who are testing positive, but that percentage of new cases is less than it used to be.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW.