COVID-19 cases could surge if too many families gathered for Thanksgiving, health experts say

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MILWAUKEE (CBS58)-- One of the busiest holidays of the year has come and gone. 

“If we didn’t tamper things down for Thanksgiving and too many of us gathered with family we could be in a worse situation than we are right now come Christmas," Jeff Pothof said. He is Chief Quality Officer with University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Pothof says since the coronavirus is a silent spreader, you may never know who infected who at Thanksgiving dinner. 

“They show up to Thanksgiving, they feel fine. Uncle Johnny looks like how Uncle Johnny always looks except for this time, he infected everyone at Thanksgiving with COVID-19."

For weeks leading up to the holiday, health officials have been urging people to limit gathering and stay home. If they didn't, the numbers are bound to show up by the end of the week. 

“Anything after Tuesday or Wednesday, that’s when we first start to see what happened with Thanksgiving all the way into the following week."

On Friday, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 1,300 COVID cases. That is the lowest case count in weeks. 

“We know over the holiday it takes more to get people to go get tested, there may less testing open for people to get, you’re going to see this drop in cases, some people will say this is great, our numbers are falling, it’s probably not the numbers falling, it’s probably a decrease number of people getting tested," Dr. Pothof said. 

Dr. Pothof says it's the waiting game, because he says if families didn't practice social distancing, hospitals could be put in a sticky situation.

 “That could break us, that could really have us in a situation where we start to get into rational medical care."

Tuesday, December 1st, is when the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet to discuss who will receive the first round of vaccinations.


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