Stanford doctor warns of 'false sense of security' as new COVID-19 infections reported amid reopening

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As more counties across the Bay Area lift shelter-in-place restrictions and begin reopening, the novel coronavirus still remains a threat. If you go out, doctors say it's important to be careful.

"Absolutely, it's not gone. I think we're lulled into a false sense of security because we've flattened the curve but we didn't get rid of it," said Stanford's Dr. Yvonne (Bonnie) Maldonado, an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Maldonado says COVID-19 is still out there and you need to be cautious, even if your friends or family aren't.

"I think it's a mistake to think this virus is gone, it's still around, we're still seeing infections here in the Bay Area and we will see a surge if we're not careful," said Dr. Maldonado.

New COVID-19 cases are still being reported in every Bay Area county. There are some areas of concern.

In Alameda County, new case numbers have increased over the past three weeks and hospitalizations have increased over the past two weeks.

In Contra Costa County, there were 27 new cases on Wednesday. That's the second highest single day rise in two weeks.

In Marin County, there were 5 new cases Wednesday. Health officials also say there has been a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in low income communities.

In San Mateo County, there were just 17 new cases Wednesday. The lowest single day rise since May 17. But the lowest number of tests in more than two weeks were taken on that day.

Dr. Maldonado says they're finding that the little things are going a long way including social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask.

But unfortunately she says she's seeing too many people out and about without a face covering.

"If I had to pick one simple thing it would be wear the mask and that's the thing I see the least out there," said Dr. Maldonado. "The question is will we have a second wave or a ripple? Will we see a blip or will it be big?"

Dr. Maldonado told ABC7 News Reporter J.R. Stone that she doesn't think we'll see a huge surge ahead but people need to be cautious because there is so much unknown. She also says there is a huge danger if this virus lingers.

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