It is too early to reopen dining areas – no question

Fox13 asked Dr. Brian Moench to weigh in on whether it will be safe to open up businesses like bars and restaurants in Utah by May 1. This is a decision that should be made by the experts, not by politicians, and not by a Health Dept. that is capitulating to politicians.

Dr. Brian Moench, director of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, believes loosening health orders in May would lead to a surge in new COVID-19 patients, one the state isn’t prepared for.

Early June or even July would be ideal for Utah, according to projections by epidemiologists at the University of Washington.

“The control of this, both from the standpoint of the economy and public health should be dictated by the real experts and that’s not politicians,” said Dr. Moench.

We have not seen any scientific/mathematical evidence for this decision. If there is any, the Governor and State Health Dept. should show that evidence to the public. In response to the Health Dept.’s statement that they’ve been criticized by people for delaying an opening too long, and by others for doing it too soon.

Our response to that is two-fold. One: show us the scientific experts that have said we waited too long to open up. We can show many that show May 1 is premature. Two: no one knows when exactly is “the right time,” only hindsight will answer that. So we must use the best evidence we have. But it will be a much bigger mistake to have opened it up too soon, rather than delay it too long. Lives are at stake.

Prevention is our best strategy both for the economy and for public health. We know how to prevent the spread, and we must not abandon it prematurely. The best evidence suggests don’t relax social constraints before the first week of June at the earliest.

Read full article here.