Scientific Evidence Shows that Even Small Gatherings Cause Spikes in Coronavirus Cases and Deaths

Holiday parties now could mean more COVID cases later—and possibly a higher death rate if there is a surge in new cases.
Last updated on Jan 24 , 2021
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Scientific Evidence Shows that Even Small Gatherings Cause Spikes in Coronavirus Cases and DeathsScientific Evidence Shows that Even Small Gatherings Cause Spikes in Coronavirus Cases and Deaths
Getting together with a few close family members might seem like no big deal, but on a national scale, it could be devastating. And we could be dealing with the fallout from holiday parties for weeks or even months to come. Past examples show spikes in cases aren’t exclusive to large gatherings; even smaller gatherings risk spread. Especially when alcohol is involved and partygoers feel comfortable enough to let down their guard, the risk is even higher. Numerous recent examples have proved this increased risk: The United States saw a spike in COVID-19 cases after Labor Day, and many states are currently experiencing a wave of new cases following Thanksgiving gatherings. A spike in cases—especially given the recent post-Thanksgiving wave—has the potential to be devastating to hospitals. Therefore, holiday gatherings could lead to hospital overload. Even before Thanksgiving, many hospitals in COVID-19 hot spots were reaching a breaking point. "We have legitimate reason to be very, very concerned about our health system at a national level," Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University who studies hospital surge capacity, told NPR in mid-November.
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Even a small family gathering can spread COVID-19
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