Small gatherings causing new COVID-19 infections, CDC director warns

Small gatherings are increasingly becoming a source of COVID-19 infection around the country, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield warned governors on a call last week.

Redfield's comments, according to audio obtained by CNN, come as dozens of states see increases in new COVID-19 cases. “In the public square, we’re seeing a higher degree of vigilance and mitigation steps in many jurisdictions,” Redfield said. “But what we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings.”

With Halloween, Thanksgiving and other holidays coming up, these gatherings could become a major concern. “We think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting,” Redfield said.

During the past week, Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has given similar warnings about holiday gatherings. “It’s important for all of us to not let our guard down during Thanksgiving,” she said during a media briefing Friday. “We see that from the High Holy Days, people are just yearning to be together.”

She encouraged families to adapt their holidays plans and protect their vulnerable family members by wearing face masks and following social distancing guidelines, according to CBS Boston.