Media Coverage

7/3/20
An article in the Austin Chronicle discusses COVID-19 and how it’s affecting nursing homes. Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, said: “Family members are often essential members of the clinical care team for older adults who are so frail, and especially those with dementia.” Troen also said COVID-19 can be kept out of nursing homes, with “intensive, appropriate and persistent procedures,” that include frequent testing of staff. “It can be done, but it requires a lot of resources and understanding and working with family members and the community,” he said.
7/2/20
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, appeared in MarketWatch to discuss safety issues with dining indoors at restaurants. “Whenever there’s a scenario where everyone can wear masks at all times the risk is lower,” Russo said. “When eating you physically can’t wear a mask but you can minimize that risk by popping it back on between bites.” States like New York that have been hit particularly hard by the virus, are also planning to reopen schools in the fall and “want to start off the school year with the best possible conditions,” Russo said. “It’s already going to be dicey going into the school year and getting elementary students to wear masks is going to be hard, but it’s an important activity that’s much different than going into a restaurant indoors.”
7/2/20
Anne B. Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of medicine, received the Heart Rhythm Society’s 2020 President’s Award for her substantial contribution to the society. She has held leadership roles in the organization for more than 25 years. Awardees accepted their honors on Heart Rhythm TV, the new flagship YouTube channel of the Heart Rhythm Society.
7/1/20
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, appeared in Business Insider discussing how safe it is to rent a car amid the pandemic. “Remember that most of the transmission of the coronavirus is respiratory — it’s not through inanimate objects,” Russo said. “When you’re in a rental car, the greatest risk is if you happen to be in the car with someone else and they could be infected,” he says, noting the pre-clinical phase and much-discussed asymptomatic possibilities. “The car is less of a risk than the potential riders in it if they happen to be new riders that you haven’t been in close contact with.”
7/1/20
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, discussed eating in restaurants vs. takeout. “I think it’s important for people to realize that drive-through and order out is still the safest way to get food conveniently made by someone else,” Russo said.
6/29/20
Leaving your home increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, and travel is no exception. However, travel may be possible if appropriate precautions and considerations are taken into account in advance, says Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. Experts recommend driving to a destination as opposed to traveling by bus, train or airplane. “You’re bound to have fewer interactions with people than you would if you were flying,” Russo says. For the same reason, he recommends staying at an Airbnb or Airbnb equivalent over a hotel. 
6/29/20
Leaders from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences appeared at a news conference with Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to discuss Western New York’s reopening plans. Michael E. Cain, MD, dean of the Jaocbs School; Peter Winkelstein, MD, executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics; Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases; and John A. Sellick Jr., DO, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases; were on the panel. All agreed that mask-wearing is “probably going to become the new norm for at least the immediate future.” 
6/26/20
Business Insider quoted Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, in a report on the safety of new cleaning requirements for Airbnb hosts. “If you want to be safe, run utensils and dishware through the dishwasher when you get there and that should take care of that,” says Russo. You can do this as well for laundering bed linens and towels, “so you have control of what you want to be washed and cleaned.”
6/25/20
The NFL has said it will be up to teams and their local governments to determine whether fans will be allowed back in stadiums when the football season begins. Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, says that in Buffalo, some Bills game-day traditions may need to be put on hold. Tailgating is “an extraordinarily bad idea,” notes Russo. “This virus is very, very infectious, and its spread occurs when individuals are interacting in close quarters. When people get excited and shout, that increases respiratory secretions, which is the mode of spread.”
6/25/20
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, is quoted in a report on the safety of travel by train during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Remember that most of the transmission of the coronavirus is respiratory — it’s not through inanimate objects,” says Russo, noting the bulk of the risk in train travel comes from fellow passengers and staff. 
6/24/20
Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, is quoted in a report on the rise in COVID-19 infections in people under age 50 over the past three weeks. “I think it has to do in part with the opening,” said Russo. “Now they have the ability to go to bars and restaurants and indoor conditions where you’re more likely to get infected.”
6/23/20
One-third of a cohort of men with Type 2 diabetes and hypogonadism who received testosterone undecanoate therapy experienced a sustained remission of their diabetes, according to findings from a single-center study. “The message is clear. All people with type 2 diabetes and/or obesity should have their testosterone measured and, if appropriate, be treated with testosterone for hypogonadism,” says Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine and chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism.
6/22/20
In a report on the safety of reopening basketball courts in Buffalo, Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, is interviewed. “I think the pluses are that it’s an outdoor activity and we know that the coronavirus is less infectious outside because it gets readily dispersed in a larger air volume,” said Russo, before noting his concerns. “People running up and down the court, breathing heavily, and likely to be in close quarters for a long period of time is gonna certainly increase their risk of getting infected.”
6/22/20
CNN published comments by Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, about how to safely return to work and when workers should wear masks. “Although the risk is greatest when in close proximity to someone, it is still possible to get infected when separation is greater than six feet; mask use will minimize this risk,” he said. The comments are part of CNN’s weekly COVID coverage provided by experts; Russo is now one of CNN’s pool of experts for this weekly feature.
6/20/20
The Buffalo News quotes John A. Sellick Jr., DO, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a hospital epidemiologist for the VA Western New York Healthcare System, in a story on socially distanced seating arrangements the Buffalo Bills are considering, and options for other teams. Sellick said he shares Buffalo Sabres tickets with a group of friends, nearly all of whom are 65 or older, and that none seems certain about when they would feel comfortable attending a game. “Before I would go back in person, I’d have to see that there’s some kind of mitigation involved,” Sellick said. “If they just say, ‘We’re going to fill the arena, come on down,’ then my guess is my Sabres group is going to fall apart because pretty much nobody’s going to want to do that.”