WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Despite repeated recommendations to stay home this Thanksgiving, highways were crowded Sunday, and Palm Beach International Airport was busy as everyone headed home after visiting loved ones.
Health experts are now concerned the holidays will likely cause Covid cases to climb higher.
“About 20% of all people in the hospital have Covid, so this is a really dangerous time,” said Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, the White House Testing Czar.
The White House Testing Czar sounded the alarm Sunday after a recent hike in hospitalizations. To help stop the spread, if you gathered with people outside your household over Thanksgiving, he's encouraging you to isolate and get tested in three to five days.
"The light is at the end of the tunnel, but the American people have to do the right things until we get that vaccine widely distributed. Wear that mask avoid indoor crowded spaces all the things you know," Giroir said.
The warning comes as Florida is on the brink of hitting one-million cases of the Coronavirus. This week, the Sunshine State is set to become only the third state in the U.S. to mark the grim milestone.
"If people continue to do what they're doing the number will keep going up and I won't be surprised by December and by Christmas time we are back or close to where we used to be in April," said Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, an infectious disease specialist in West Palm Beach.
Dr. Osiyemi says many people are no longer taking the virus seriously, and no longer wearing a mask.
"People think that once you have Covid one time they're protected for life, that's not true. There have been cases of people having more than one case of Covid," Osiyemi said.
Dr. Osiyemi tells WPTV one study shows there are 21 strains of the virus. He says there is hope with a vaccine, but that will take time.
"So for the next few months we still have to act as if there is not a vaccine until we have enough people vaccinated," Dr. Osiyemi said.
Health experts say it will be weeks before we see how more people traveling and the Thanksgiving holiday impacted new hospitalizations and deaths.