Just in time for the Thanksgiving break, incidence of COVID-19 is creeping up again in many areas within the United States. While that’s probably not surprising, given the ongoing relaxation of masking rules and slow uptake of vaccination among children, it is alarming when one considers that families and friend groups who passed on large group celebrations last year are gearing up to mass together for turkey day next week. According to data published by The New York Times, the U.S. is reporting an average of more than 83,000 cases per day right now—a 14% increase over the previous week and 12% up from the week before that. And that’s not coming from the usual suspects down south, either; the current mini-surge is taking place in the Midwest and Northeast. So far there’s no corresponding increase in hospitalizations or deaths. However, with college kids coming home for a few days and then heading right back out to finish the fall semester, it’s likely there will be a further swell over the coming weeks. Urgent care operators should be prepared, especially, to test people who may still be wary and want to get tested before Thanksgiving and certainly to test others who find out they were exposed. In addition, continue to bear in mind that with so many symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 resembling “typical” urgent care presentations (eg, sore throat, cough), testing should be almost routine for patients whose viral status is unknown.
Get Ready—There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays (or for Spreading COVID-19)