We all know by now that large gatherings hurt efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now warns that small household gatherings are causing a spike in new cases.
CNN reports that CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Tuesday call with the nation’s governors that “In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions.”
“But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually [the] acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield continued. “Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”
According to USA Today, infection cases decreased significantly in September but this month they’re increasing dramatically.
From USA Today:
More than half of the country is seeing rising rates of infection, with 27 states trending upwards. And 20 states — Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah and Virginia — all recorded their highest number of new daily cases in the last week.
According to the New York Times, the U.S. saw 54,512 new infections on Oct. 13, marking one of the highest tallies of daily cases since August.
USA Today reports that, during the virtual conference, Redfield urged governors to urge their citizens to exercise caution during the upcoming holiday season.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine at George Washington University, said the same thing to CNN Wednesday and even suggested holding Thanksgiving festivities outside if at all possible.
“If you’re lucky enough to live in a part of the country where the weather will be moderate in November, do an outdoor Thanksgiving,” Reiner said. “I think in the...places in the country where the winter comes early, I think you have to really be careful.”
The good news is that the CDC appears to be optimistic about the availability of coronavirus vaccines in the near future, according to a Wednesday post on its website.
“The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available,” the CDC wrote. “The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available so no one will have to travel far to be vaccinated, whether it’s at your doctor’s office, retail pharmacy, hospital, or federally qualified health center.”