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With Holidays Here, When Will This Second Wave of COVID-19 Peak?

November 24, 2020

As millions of Americans defy public health officials’ recommendation that they curb travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, a Hartford HealthCare official predicted a surge in COVID-19 infections as a result of gatherings. “We have seen significant increases seven to 20 days after every holiday,” said Keith Grant, APRN, Director of Infection Prevention for the system in a recent news briefing. “I would love for the citizens of Connecticut to prove science and epidemiology wrong, but I do expect to see an uptick in cases.” Traveling in general, he said, is “a scary thing,” but he particularly highlighted the dangers of flying. Crowded airports, he said, increase one’s risk of contracting COVID-19 because the practice of physically distancing is nearly impossible. https://youtu.be/O8U9cTUIyuQ Infection rates during the pandemic’s current second wave should peak in about four to six weeks, Grant said. “This is based on multiple (predictive) models,” he said, adding that the “No. 1 driver” of infection increases remains social events such as holiday gatherings. “Prevention is much better than cure.” People wanting to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday also spurred an increase in COVID-19 testing across the state, according to Dr. James Cardon, HHC’s Chief Clinical Integration Officer. A negative test result might make one feel able to travel and attend gatherings, but he stressed it “won’t keep you safe.” “Everyone should still follow safety practices,” he said. Those measures include physical distancing, mask wearing at all times you are not eating, moving activities outside when possible and practicing good hand hygiene.