CDC: small group gatherings causing COVID-19 spread

SPOKANE, Wash. — Are you willing to wear your mask at home? The director for the Centers for Disease Control said small group gatherings are behind the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

With the holiday season almost here, medical experts hope people will act smarter if they choose to gather. It’s not just the holidays that medical experts are worried about. It’s really any small group gathering. People coming together at home to watch sports or celebrate birthdays and anniversaries indoors.

Whether we like it or not, the seasons are changing. Temperatures are cooling and we’re seeing less of the sun.

“We are going inside. We are going into our dinners, our birthday parties, our social gatherings,” said Governor Jay Inslee, Washington.

More time indoors, means more potential to get and spread COVID-19.

“And as we go inside, and we sit on our couches with our friends and we don’t wear masks – that’s a risk,” Governor Inslee said.

“Close proximity, poor ventilation, many people, lots of conversation. Those are, unfortunately, an environment that puts people at risk,” said Dr. Bob Lutz, chief medical officer for Spokane Regional Health District.

Governor Inslee said not enough people are practicing social distancing and wearing face masks when indoors.

“Finding a way to adopt the thoughtfulness that we’ve had when we go shopping, to having the same level of thoughtfulness when we are in our homes with our friends – we just have to lift our games,” Governor Inslee said.

Time to lift our game, considering the holidays will soon be here and lots of people will get together.

“You’re eating, you’re socializing; those are all high-risk settings if you are spending time with people you don’t know and/or not your immediate family,” Dr. Lutz said.

Governor Inslee said this is something we haven’t experienced yet during the pandemic.

“Rather than tell people what not to do, we are going to try and help them understand how to do that safely. We are all desperate for our society, and our friendship, and our families. We have got to figure out a way to do that safely,” Governor Inslee said.

If you choose to celebrate and gather in a small group at home, the CDC recommends wearing a mask at all times when you’re not eating, especially around people who don’t live with you. You should also try to keep a six-foot distance from one another, and wash your hands frequently. Then, after the celebration, try to stay home as much as possible, and avoid being around people at an increased risk for COVID-19.

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