BUFFALO, N.Y. — Infectious disease experts say they are hopeful there will not be a big surge of COVID-19 cases after this upcoming holiday season.
"I don't think any of us are expecting a real big … but I wouldn't be surprised if we see a little hump,” Dr. John Sellick, University at Buffalo professor of medicine, said. “I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to be wrong.”
That doesn't mean we're in the clear — experts say cases could increase as people move indoors during the cold winter months and holiday season.
Dr. Sellick, also an infection control guide at Kaleida Health, says with Halloween right around the corner, it is a less risky holiday because people are trick-or-treating outdoors.
"If you are going to go door to door, especially in groups of kids, everybody should be masked, everybody should try to stay as apart from one another as they possibly can,” he said. “And then for people at home, you know, if you choose to answer the door, you should have a mask on and maintain distance.”
Dr. Sellick suggests just leaving a bowl of candy on the doorstep to avoid face to face contact. He recommends avoiding Halloween parties, especially for kids, as they could further the spread of the virus.
"Kids are not vaccinated, and even if the FDA gives the approval next week, which they probably will for the 5 to 11 group, they're certainly not going to be vaccinated by Halloween," Sellick said.
Sellick says Thanksgiving and Christmas are the holidays of main concern.
"Lots of people get together, so you have families coming from all over, especially if they’re coming from states where there still having a lot of cases, there's a possibility that even if they're not sick they may bring delta variant," Dr. Sellick said.
Dr. Sellick says wearing a mask at all indoor gatherings is the best way to protect yourself, even if you're fully vaccinated.