San Diego County blames Thanksgiving gatherings for rising COVID-19 cases

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A post-Thanksgiving spike in COVID-19 cases has hit the county and continued to climb Friday, and San Diego County health officials are blaming families for gathering at Thanksgiving.

In the past week, the county Health and Human Services Agency reported 5,649 lab-confirmed cases, an increase of more than 63% over the previous week’s 3,455 new infections.

However, influenza cases declined slightly from 2,721 cases last week to 2,583 new lab-confirmed cases of influenza this week. By this time last year, 539 flu cases had been reported for the entire season.

“Holiday gatherings, especially indoors, can increase the spread of respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and flu as we’re seeing after the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer. “San Diego County residents know how to keep loved ones safe when gathering for celebrations, as they have done so in the past.

“Masking, home testing and vaccinations can help ensure you and your families don’t spend this holiday season sick or worse,” he said.

The bivalent COVID-19 booster and flu vaccinations are separate shots that are both effective at decreasing the chance of catching the targeted viruses, being hospitalized or dying. County officials strongly advise all eligible residents get both. Wearing a mask if able, particularly during indoor public gatherings, will help protect you and those around you, they say.

Other measures to stay healthy include washing hands thoroughly and often, staying away from sick people, staying home and avoiding contact with others when sick, home testing when exposed or when ill and regularly cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

“These steps will help protect our critical hospital capacity and your loved ones,” Kaiser said. “I also want to remind everyone it’s never too late to get a flu shot or a bivalent COVID booster.”


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