Thousands of people have gathered at various local events this holiday weekend as the Bay Area has the highest COVID-19 rate in California. Infectious disease experts anticipate the weekend crowds and gatherings could mean another jump in infection rates in the days ahead.
From the 100,000 people expected at the BottleRock Music Festival in Napa to the tens of thousands, who gathered for the Carnaval parade in San Francisco Sunday.
“There are probably one in 20 people in the Bay Area, who have no symptoms and are infected. We have the data from UCSF,” said UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
After the weekend parties, parades and festivals, doctors like Chin-Hong are preparing for another COVID surge.
“What I’m concerned about is after this weekend, there is a lot more cases,” he said.
Chin-Hong said that he also expects to see a slight bump in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID after the holiday weekend. But he added that bump is likely manageable. He said that right now, the most common variant circulating in the Bay Area is an offshoot of BA-2, that’s 30-50% more transmissible than the original omicron variant.
While Chin-Hong said people should get back to enjoying their lives. He suggested many to opt for outdoor events, wear a mask in crowds and look into how and where to get COVID anti-viral medicine, should anyone need it.
“For those at risk. Have a paxlovid plan, research drug interactions, who is going to prescribe it and where you can get it,” he said.