KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Health officials anticipate a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I’m sure that the Thanksgiving holiday will not be kind to both sides of the state line in terms of the number of cases that will emanate from thanksgiving," Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said.
In the weeks before Thanksgiving Day, doctors preached the importance of celebrating in a safe way. Recommendations included masks, social distancing, hand-hygiene and avoiding large gatherings with family and friends.
“On Friday, yesterday, we added on over 5,000 new cases in Kansas, so we’re still clicking along at 2,500 or 3,000 new cases a day," Norman said.
Friday, Kansas reported 26 COVID-19 related deaths and Missouri reported 14.
After Halloween, health officials saw the number of positive cases spike in the metro area, as well as nationwide.
As the December holidays are near, health officials expect cases to be much worse.
“Thanksgiving and then the December holidays are much more likely to involve older folks who are much more vulnerable, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Halloween on steroids, with two or three times the number of cases coming from that," Norman said.
While many people might have been hopeful the next holiday would be different, Norman said recommendations will remain the same.
“Until they get a vaccine and can demonstrate immunity, people need to keep practicing these same things we’ve been talking about," Norman said.
Health experts are concerned about local hospitals as the number of coronavirus cases rise.
Norman said testing facilities could be overwhelmed in the coming days as more people look to get tested.