COVID-19 cases surging following Thanksgiving holiday, health experts say

For weeks, public health officials have warned about a potential surge of COVID-19 cases stemming from Thanksgiving gatherings. Now, the experts say that surge is here.

“The gatherings we saw on Thanksgiving will lead to a surge,” Dr. Deborah Birx said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday. “It will happen this week and next week.”

And that includes D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

The number of patients hospitalized throughout the Holy Cross Health system had been on the rise, and officials anticipate the trend could continue, spokesperson Kristin Feliciano said Monday. She added that at this point they’re still supporting elective surgery, however, Holy Cross hospitals have returned to more stringent restrictions on visitation to protect patients and colleagues.

It’s a similar story at the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus as well. The number of COVID-19 patients is expected to continue rising for another one to two weeks, Dr. Steve Narang said in an interview Monday evening, although the president of Inova Fairfax also relayed some encouraging news too.

“The biggest difference between now and nine months ago is we know how to manage this condition clinically better,” Narang said. “We understand that pathophysiology, how the body reacts to it and to make sure that we don’t overuse resources or underuse it. We know exactly how to treat the patient depending on their level of severity.”

“We don’t want to be that experienced with COVID,” he added, “but we’ve had to be in this large metropolitan area and particularly at Inova and at this campus. And so by having taken care of thousands of patients with covid over the last nine months, we have experience, and matter of fact, we’re as good as anyone in the world now taking care of it.”

Feliciano echoed Narang’s comments regarding preparation, adding that physicians throughout Holy Cross Health have gained valuable experience throughout the past 42 weeks of the pandemic. But the medical professionals are still relying on the public too.

“If you need us we’re here,” Narang said, “but take the basics to heart and do your best to protect yourself and your neighbor and your friend. That’s my message to you.”