As health experts breathe a side of relief due to the decrease in reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the United States, they worry that the latest mainstream event, Super Bowl LV, could negatively affect the country’s progress if people fail to avoid large gatherings.
“When people get together in private residences in close proximity, that is one of the single most effective ways to spread this disease,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said.
“We can’t afford to have the disease spread now, with these mutations and these variants.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo added, “while the instinct may be to celebrate together, we cannot get cocky.”
“We must continue doing the things we know are effective at taming the virus: wear a mask, adhere to social distancing, and avoid gatherings,” he continued. “We can beat this thing, but we must stay smart.”
This latest warning to the American people is critical, as a new study has found a highly contagious B.1.1.7 strain. It was first reported in the United Kingdom and has since spread over into the United States.
Researchers note that although the strain accounts for a low number of known U.S. cases, it’s “doubling about every 10 days.”
If there is no “decisive and immediate public health action,” researchers advised, “more transmissible variants “will likely have devastating consequences to COVID-19 mortality and morbidity in the U.S. in a few months.”