Celebrations held over Labor Day weekend will likely lead to an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases, a San Francisco doctor said.
UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said as people continue to learn to live with COVID-19, the festivities will come with a cost.
"The question is not whether or not we will see an increase in cases. The question is by how much," he said.
Along with concerts and packed stadiums, TSA data shows air travel over Labor Day was back to levels from two years ago.
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"Both flights going to Palm Springs and coming back. Friday, it was packed. Today, they announced that the flight was entirely full," Bruce Nguyen of Morgan Hill said.
Others in San Jose traveling for the first time during the pandemic said they felt safe with the protocols in place.
"You got to get used to wearing a mask for a five-hour flight, but it was no big deal honestly," James Pedroza said. "It was just nice to have some normalcy again and go on a trip."
Right now, the percentage of people testing positive in California is down from the summer peak of 7.1% but still higher than the summer low when it was less than 1%.
That was in June. Today, it's around 4.5%, about what it was last Labor Day.
Chin-Hong expects California to fair better than other states after the holiday weekend.
"I think given the combination of vaccine immunity, plus the fact that we had so many transmissions recently – so that gives natural immunity – we’ll have a combination of two forces keeping us relatively low in the coming weeks after a little bump right now," he said.
He said in the highly vaccinated Bay Area, increased cases have not led to a spike in hospitalizations.
The question moving forward: will it continue in the months ahead?
"Winter is a little bit more uncertain because of potential waning of immunity and potentially a new variant coming on board," Chin-Hong said.