Local doctors concerned about COVID-19 case surge from New Year’s celebrations

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 6:07 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -New Year’s Eve happening on a Friday this year adds concerns for medical professionals about expected large gatherings likely to include people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. With that, doctors worry about another surge in COVID-19 cases following the New Year. The latest data from Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows the latest 14-day average of positive tests up to 10.7 percent, the highest mark in several months.

“I do think, mid-January, it’s going to be insane,” said Wesley Medical Center Director for Infection Prevention Dr. Tom Moore.

Dr. Moore and Dr. Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt with the KU School of Medicine offer tips on what you should do this year, based on your vaccination status.

“If you’ve been vaccinated, by all means, get together with family, get together with small groups and enjoy yourselves,” Dr. Moore said. “But, if you have not been vaccinated, or vaccinated or not at a gathering with a lot of people, by all means, wear a mask. Or just don’t go.”

Dr. Schwasinger-Schmidt said it’s not too late to be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the holiday.

“Again a lot of places are testing for the big viruses, so RSV, COVID and influenza,” she said. ‘So, having those testing results before getting together, but also if you’re unvaccinated, seeing if the risk is worth it.”

The best advice, doctors say, is to get vaccinated.

“We just don’t have any rom in the hospitals around town,” Dr. Moore said. “Do yourselves a favor, do us a favor, do your fellow human beings a favor and get vaccinated.”

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