With less than a week to go until Christmas, some travelers have been caught off guard by the uptick in coronavirus cases. One D.C.-area doctor has suggestions for those who want to get together during the holidays.
D.C. broke records both Thursday and Friday when officials reported the District's highest number of COVID-19 cases ever during the pandemic. Maryland logged a 150% increase in hospitalizations, and in Virginia, cases are up 60%.
Dr. Fabián Sandoval from the Emerson Clinical Research Institute is closely following the numbers.
“I think Christmas is going to hit. I think everyone is going to want to get together and the numbers are going to go up even more,” he said.
That’s why Kamilah Jones and Ty McFarlane are staying home with their two children.
“Just a little concerned about the omicron variant. We have two little ones. I have a 2-year-old and an 11-month-old; we just wanna make sure we’re playing it safe,” Jones said.
Others, like Blaize Johnson, are planning to see family.
“We have some minor concern. It seems like cases have really exploded,” Johnson said. “My wife and I are vaccinated and we got the booster about a month ago, so we’re doing what we can to protect ourselves. Eventually we just kind of feel like you have to take the good with the bad and protect yourself how you can, but otherwise just kind of get out there and live your life.”
If you’re wondering what you can do to stay safe days away from the holidays, Sandoval has some suggestions.
“If you are with close family and close friends that you know you all have the three steps of the vaccine, I think you can relax and enjoy your holidays,” he said.
But, those who are unvaccinated should stay home and protect their loved ones.
“Think about their issues later on,” Sandoval said. “You might feel healthy, but if you are a silent carrier, you’re going to get them sick.”
He adds that a PCR test is the best option for people who want to be extra sure they don’t have COVID-19.