BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Now is not the time to let your guard down when it comes to social distancing, a UAB medical professional says.

Dr. Michael Saag says he is becoming concerned after a new projection showed there could be 200,000 cases a day national by June 1.

Saag says if that number verifies, hospitals, particularly in rural areas, will be overwhelmed.

Right now it is important to continue following social distancing guidelines, Saag said in a news release Wednesday.

“Here’s what we should do: Be patient, be resolute; we know what we can do to protect ourselves,” Saag said. “Wearing a mask when we’re outside, washing our hands frequently and well, try not to be around others unless it is essential and especially protecting older folks.”

To date, UAB is treating 52 inpatients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Saag knows the virus all too well. He contracted COVID-19 in March during a family trip to New York. Saag told CBS 42 he did everything he possibly could to avoid getting the virus, but when he returned home Saturday, he immediately put himself in quarantine, realizing he was showing symptoms of the virus.

He has since recovered and is back to work, battling the coronavirus on the front lines.