Small gatherings leading to more COVID cases, prompting families to shrink their holiday plans

Small gatherings leading to more COVID cases, prompting families to shrink their holiday plans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While many are doing a better job in public of wearing masks and social distancing in public, those practices are nonexistent in many private groups and gatherings, which could promote the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC reports that when it comes to small get-togethers, Americans are letting their guards down and that’s now being blamed for rising cases. That makes it a big concern for some about the upcoming holidays. The CDC’s recent update is sparking a change in many people’s fall plans, whether it’s tweaking a small Halloween party or Thanksgiving.

While it may seem a little extreme, doctors say families and friends having small gatherings should wear masks and stock up on the sanitizer while indoors.

“I think we’ll get together just more of an intimate gathering, just my immediate family," Jessica Taylor told WAVE 3 News.

Louisvillian Sean Phillips told WAVE 3 News his pre-existing conditions will limit any family celebrations to his own household.

“I’m a diabetic and I’ve got a mild case of pancreatitis, and I’ve had my knee replaced,” he said.

Others said they’re keeping things small this year, though the holidays are usually hectic.

“My husband and I, both families, usually one [gathering] at my parents' house, and usually one at his family’s place," London, a Scribner Middle School teacher, said. "So typically there’s at least two things going on, if not three sometimes.”

She said this year their plans may be revised.

“There have been talks of trying to limit how many different houses we’re going to," she said.

Norton Medical Group Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Joseph Flynn said while that’s a good idea, everyone should take it a step further and keep gatherings to each family’s own household or wear a mask around relatives, especially as 36 states, including Kentucky and Indiana, report new virus spikes.

Dr. Joseph Flynn said everyone should keep gatherings to each family’s own household or wear a mask around relatives
Dr. Joseph Flynn said everyone should keep gatherings to each family’s own household or wear a mask around relatives (Source: WWNY)
While it may seem a little extreme, doctors say families and friends having small gatherings should wear masks and stock up on the sanitizer while indoors.
While it may seem a little extreme, doctors say families and friends having small gatherings should wear masks and stock up on the sanitizer while indoors. (Source: WBRC)

“We don’t know who can get re-infected," Flynn said. "If they do, can they carry it forward and how long are you truly immune?”

About half the people getting COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can be unknowingly spreading it to family members. That circumstance is being seen more as kids back in school are getting infected.

Flynn recommends using Zoom or Facetime to bring relatives into gatherings, saying it’s the best holiday gift you can give to make sure everyone is safe until you see them next year.

He also said as always, make sure to wear face masks the correct way.

“Wearing a mask and following all these guidelines is vital,” he stressed. “And you’ve heard people say it, but wear your mask properly and don’t wear it below the nose.”

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.


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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News)