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Here's why health experts say gathering in groups over the holidays is a bad idea during the pandemic

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

With over 11 million cases, 249,000 deaths in the US and a surge in daily cases, the holidays will look completely different this year.

"One of our concerns is people over the holiday season will get together and they may actually be bringing infection with them to that small gathering and not even know it," Dr. Henry Walke, Covid-19 incident manager for the CDC, told reporters in a conference call on Thursday.

In November, an Election Night watch party, attended by at least six people, created a small outbreak in Fresno, California.

"It's not lost on me that this outbreak of Covid came through me," Brandau said in a Facebook Live video.

It is unclear who else has been infected, but Brandau said "six or seven" people had tested positive and a public health contract tracer estimated he exposed about 45 people to the virus, including some in his county office.

That reception led to three separate Covid-19 outbreaks, leaving 178 people infected, three hospitalized and seven dead, state health investigators said.

"This report provides a cautionary tale for people as they consider how to celebrate the winter holidays," said Robert Long, communications director for Maine's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's provincial health officer, said she pleaded with people to keep their gatherings small.

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