Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield warned governors that small gatherings are increasingly becoming a source of new COVID-19 infections across the United States.
Redfield’s comments come as several states see spikes in new COVID-19 cases, The Hill reported.
“In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” Redfield told governors in a recent call.
“But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings,” Redfield said. “Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”
According to a New York Times tracker, the U.S. averaged 52,000 new COVID-19 cases every day over the past week. The average number of daily new cases is up by 21% from the average just a couple of weeks ago.
The CDC’s focus on small gatherings in homes comes as experts warn of a winter surge in cases.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, has warned the county needs to get its numbers way down before winter.
Heading into winter with tens of thousands of new cases every day provides more avenues for the virus to spread, as citizens start to spend more time in their homes, where the increase in ventilation makes it harder for the coronavirus to spread.
Additionally, respiratory viruses like the flu or common cold tend to spread easier in colder months, and medical experts expect COVID-19 to behave the same way.
“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” Fauci said on CNBC Monday.
“We have a baseline of infections now that vary between 40,000 and 50,000 per day. That’s a bad place to be when you’re going into the cooler weather of the fall and the colder weather of the winter.”