The country's top infectious disease doctor is warning we are in a critical weekend for coronavirus cases.
"We don't want to see a repeat of the surges that we have seen following of the holiday weekends,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
There were surges after Memorial Day and Fourth of July due in part to large social and family gatherings. Labor Day has the potential to be the same.
“One of the things I think I've seen people make a mistake with is they fool themselves about these pandemic pods, like its OK for me to be around this other family and we'll both be safe, and then it will be OK, we'll be like a household, but what many people don’t realize is all these pods are basically interconnected,” said Dr. Dean Blumberg, Chief of Pediactric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “Very few people actually do that and limit the interaction.”
Another reason people get complacent with social distancing and mask wearing is because the people they are around look and act healthy. But infectious disease experts remind us two thirds of transmission of the virus are from people who have no symptoms.
Blumberg says he's also seen outdoor gatherings start off with good intentions.
“You start off 6 feet distanced, but when you're having a good time, people just naturally forget, and it’s really with the larger social gatherings that this is more of a risk,” said Blumberg.
The other big concern with Labor Day gatherings is having virus surges headed into fall and winter. That's when infectious disease doctors say coronaviruses tend to spread the most and when flu season starts to ramp up.
Also, with school back in session, there's the risk of shutting down or delaying opening in-person learning, depending on how people handle Labor Day.