TAMPA, Fla. - The Centers for Disease Control is warning holiday revelers not to celebrate the holidays with anyone outside of their own household.
The United States is in the midst of a spike in cases, and in Florida, the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases has gone from about 2,000 on October 10 to almost 11,000 on December 21.
"I think I am going to use the governor's words, which he has used since the beginning of this, and that is, use common sense," said the dean of health policy at the University of South Florida, Dr. Jay Wolfson.
Many are looking to Thanksgiving for clues about how family gatherings could spread COVID-19. Did it have an impact?
Wolfson says it's still unclear, partially because cases were already going up, and also because there is a well-known lag time in how long it takes for symptoms, tests, and results to get through the system.
But also, he says, because forty percent of cases are likely asymptomatic, it may take a while for a high-risk person to get sick from a case that was first passed at the Thanksgiving table.
"To the extent that it is feasible for you, don't travel, have a virtual holiday season, virtual gift-giving, just this once," said Wolfson.
The other risk factor Tampa Bay faces is its desirable location.
Along with holiday travelers, health experts are also worried about those coming to visit on vacation, and what they're bringing along with luggage.
"These are critical weeks ahead of us," said Wolfson. "We all, as citizens, we have responsibility."
Information from the CDC, including a questionnaire on how safe it is for you to travel this holiday season, can be found here: https://twitter.com/CDCgov/status/1340761893527564288?s=20