COVID and the holidays - looking ahead to Easter

March 30, 2021

As we approach Easter weekend – another important, family-oriented holiday weekend, University Health would like to note that there is a consistent correlation between holidays where families tend to gather, and an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

“There tends to be a two-to-three week lag between the increased exposure to COVID-19 and the illness that puts people in the hospital, and these data make that clear,” said Dr. Jason Bowling, University Hospital epidemiologist. “And unfortunately, it is also clear that the number of deaths takes a sharp increase as well.”

Even though more of our community is getting vaccinated, we haven’t reached herd immunity, and many people remain vulnerable to infection, which also means they can expose others – something to consider when they are planning to gather with loved ones.

“Large family gatherings have been a major source of exposure to COVID-19,” Dr. Bowling said. “We’ve seen it time and time again.”

“It’s important to continue to practice what science has shown to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Bowling said. “Avoiding large gatherings, particularly indoor gatherings, where not everyone has been vaccinated, is a key part of that.

“As the winter surge in infections has declined and more people are vaccinated, we are beginning to glimpse the end of this pandemic,” Dr. Bowling said. “But COVID-19 is still with us, and if we don’t treat it as a reality, it could get worse before it gets better. And that’s just unnecessary.”