PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Public health leaders are expressing concerns over a potential coronavirus surge following the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The concerns follow record-breaking travel numbers over the weekend.
According to TSA more than 1.2 million travelers passed through security checkpoints on Sunday alone.
And now with days before New Year’s Eve, some of our top national, state and local public health experts are calling on everyone to stop gathering and stay home.
On Monday, there was a line for free coronavirus testing provided by Allegheny County in Carnegie.
Some people were getting tested after gathering with family.
Lisa Brueckner, who was there getting the test told KDKA, “nobody that I know had it. But you never know. You know what I mean? So, I wanna be safe.”
It’s because of holiday gatherings Dr. Anthony Fauci believes there could be a post-seasonal coronavirus surge in the coming weeks.
“And as I’ve described it as a surge upon a surge,” said Dr. Fauci.
With more than 8600 coronavirus cases reported over the holiday weekend in the State of Pennsylvania, Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday, case numbers have plateaued.
This is potentially due to decreased testing over the holiday weekend. She stressed the importance of staying home.
“We are concerned that we could see an increase again in January if people do not stay the course,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Health Secretary, PADOH.
Donald Yealy M.D., Senior Medical Director, Health Services, UPMC told KDKA, in a post seasonal surge the virus could spread much further and faster because of the extended nature of the holiday. And said large gatherings are not the only reason.
“Now instead of amongst 40 to 400 people, amongst that, maybe five or six that are together for the first time or for a long time who don’t normally live in the same household,” said Dr. Yealy.
Experts believe the potential spike could be two weeks away and remind us the days where gatherings are safe are even further away.
“We are not out of the woods yet. We are months from being out of the woods,” said Dr. Yealy.