LOS ANGELES, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — Health experts fear a post-holiday COVID-19 surge could already be brewing, after several days of potential super spreader events and widespread travel.
“We know it’s going to show up, so we just really have to wait and see,” said Mark Williams, the dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas. “But we’re not optimistic that we’re going to see any downturns anytime in the next four weeks.”
An especially discouraging sign was seen outside an Arkansas football game this weekend, where a vaccination clinic went completely ignored.
“No one came by today,” said Richard Johnson, with Access Medical Clinic. “No one even asked any questions to be quite honest.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is forecasting that COVID-19 deaths could surge to nearly 19,000 in the four-week period ending Sept. 25, with more than half of those deaths predicted later this month.
“Just please help me,” said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. “Help me to get us vaccinated, that’s the only ticket we got. I wish to goodness I could tell you something else but the bottom line is this. We’re going to have a bunch more people die.”
The CDC had advised unvaccinated Americans not to travel over the holiday weekend, but it is hard to tell whether any plans changed. Roads have been congested and flights have been full.
“I had COVID in February,” said Chad Weissman, an airline passenger. “Double immunity with the vaccine, so yeah, not too worried.”
In 2020, Labor Day weekend preceded a major surge leading into Thanksgiving. Vaccinations this year may prevent a repeat, but a new complicating factor is many students returning to in-person learning after the holiday.