Health officials predict COVID-19 increase from Memorial Day weekend gatherings

Posted at 7:18 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 07:18:52-04

TAMPA, Fla. — “There’s a lot of COVID. I’m starting to see a lot of students be positive again, coworkers that are positive, just contacts that are positive. It’s not gone,” said Dr. Jill Roberts, Associate Professor for the USF College of Public Health.

Experts say we’re in the midst of yet another COVID-19 wave.

“At the moment, the cases are going up, hospitalizations are going up, test positivity is going up,” said Roberts.

What health officials are keeping a close eye on right now is the United States is currently recording as many COVID-19 cases as it was last summer during the delta surge.

However, experts believe the cases are much higher because they’re being underreported due to at-home COVID-19 tests.

“We’ve really enjoyed a nice little break for a little while here but unfortunately at the moment we’re headed in the other direction,” said Roberts.

More than half of the U.S. population is living in areas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem as having a medium or high transmission risk.

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That’s why researchers are predicting cases will rise after Memorial Day weekend gatherings.

“Anytime we have an opportunity like a holiday for people to gather together, are we going to be at risk and I think so,” said Roberts.

Experts believe the people most at risk for getting and spreading the virus, aside from anyone completely unvaccinated, are people who aren’t boosted.

“Anyone who has not been boosted for their vaccinations should really start thinking about those boosters right now,” said Roberts.

Health officials urge people to take precautions to help limit the spread if they have Memorial Day plans:

  • wear masks when inside public spaces
  • gather with people outside
  • practice social distancing

“The one tool that a lot of us have not been doing anymore is really distancing,” said Roberts.

“That virus is still out there so please be very careful,” she added.