Columbus, OH,
14:00 PM

NBC4: As COVID-19 Cases Rise, Doctors Fear Holiday Spike

After over a month of weekly case numbers decreasing in Ohio, weekly cases have started to go up over the last two weeks according to the Ohio Department of Health.  

In an interview with NBC4 reporter Eric Halperin on Sunday, Nov. 14, Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases, said that the seven-day average of positive cases has risen 40 percent over the last two weeks.  Dr. Gastaldo told NBC4 this is due to the delta variant, breakthrough infections, increased travel and people spending more time indoors.  

So what does this mean for the upcoming holiday season?

“I am very concerned, but again, I was very concerned again a year ago, too,” Dr. Gastaldo told NBC4. “But what’s different now than a year ago are three safe and effective vaccines. We have vaccine availability for everybody five years and older.”

Dr. Gastaldo told NBC4 that the vaccine is the best tool in our COVID-19 toolbox.

"It’s just a matter of really thinking ahead of time of the tools you have available and to think about really accessing those to be as safe as you can, especially for those who are vulnerable,” Dr. Gastaldo told NBC4. “We need to learn to live safely with this virus and to use all the tools available that we have to really ensure a safe holiday season.”

  • If you are gathering for Thanksgiving or other holidays this season, know that if you're not fully vaccinated, you're at higher risk. 
  • Beginning the vaccination series by Nov. 19 will have you fully vaccinated by Christmas. 
  • Know that inviting unvaccinated guests into your home poses a risk. 
  • If you're traveling via public transportation, make sure to wear a mask. 
  • Ventillation is also key.  Open some windows during your celebration, or, if the weather permits, consider holding your celebration outside.
  • And, if you are sick or experiencing symptoms, stay home.

If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, click here for more information.

To view the full story from NBC4, click the station's logo below: