A new post-Christmas Coronavirus surge as holidays create ‘viral wildfire’

Los Angeles County health officials are warning of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases following family gatherings and out-of-town trips during the holidays, despite pandemic guidelines that asked the public to stay home.

Under one scenario, experts predict there could be a boost in new coronavirus cases by mid-January, a surge in hospitalizations by late January and early February, and another burst of deaths by early to mid-February.

The quick succession of holidays in the fall and winter months typically allows people to celebrate and spend time with loved ones in a brief period.

But that leaves little time for coronavirus cases to start falling before they spike again, creating surges on top of surges.

People may be getting together in small groups to try to be safe because of the COVID-19 surge, but those interactions can still fuel the spread of the virus, said UCLA infectious disease specialist Dr. Tim Brewer.

“I’m very concerned about the next two months,” Brewer said.