Bay Area Holiday Shoppers Still Visit Stores Amid COVID-19 Surge

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Despite health officials advising people to avoid non-essential activities due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, crowds continue to take shape in parts of the Bay Area.

Prior to the pandemic, crowds at the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore just days before Christmas would be considered normal, but as the region tries to slow down the surge, they're far from ideal.

"The problem is when people are too close together, that is an opportunity to spread," UCSF Dr. Monica Ghandi said.

Ghandi said this isn't the time to let up. While being outside is a much better option than inside, it doesn't completely rule out the chance of transmitting the virus, especially during a surge.

"That distancing means that you have to be away from each other by at least 6 feet even with your mask," she said. "I mean, that’s the rule, it's mask and distancing."

Some people wrapping up last-minute shopping at the outlets Tuesday said they understand they're taking a risk.

"You don’t want to have your kids not be able to get the things that they want during the holidays, so sometimes you got to do what you got to do," Jael Barnes of Livermore said.

Ghandi said it's not a risk worth taking, especially with help on the way.

"We’re so lucky at the end of this year to have two vaccine candidates," she said. "The end is so completely in sight to this. This is going to be the last time that we feel this miserable."

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