San Diego County attributes COVID-19 spike to Thanksgiving gatherings

COVID-19 coronavirus
Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 18:28:58-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County public health officials said Friday a high spike in COVID-19 cases may be the result of Thanksgiving gatherings.

Officials reported 1,153 COVID-19 cases on Thursday, which is up from case numbers in the 600 to 500 range in days prior.

Health officials said the large case increase is likely tied to Thanksgiving and not due to the omicron variant. Officials added that the delta variant remains the largest concern and indoor masking in public places is recommended in addition to vaccination and good hygiene.

"County residents need to be mindful that Delta is still out there," Cameron Kaiser, county deputy public health officer said. "Indoor masking, vaccination and good hygiene are still strongly advised. People should not visit family and friends or go to work if you’re ill."

The last time the county reported more than 1,150 COVID-19 cases in a day was Sept. 10.

An uptick in COVID-19 cases is likely to continue, added Kaiser, due to more holidays in the coming months.

"Unfortunately, rises like these after holidays are not unexpected," Kaiser said. "We are vigilant for any changes in cases that omicron might cause, but we’ve seen similar spikes like this in the past."

Scientists are still conducting studies to identify how dangerous the omicron variant of COVID-19 can be, and whether it causes more severe reactions and illness than the traditional virus. Wednesday, US health officials reported the first case of the omicron virus in the country was reported in San Francisco.

San Diego County reported Wednesday that 305 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 86 of those patients in intensive care.