PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are new concerns that the Philadelphia region is about to see a new wave of COVID-19 cases and health officials are sounding the alarm ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. There has been a sharp uptick in cases across Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole says.
“In the past two weeks, Philadelphia and the surrounding counties have seen a sharp uptick in cases of COVID-19. With cooler weather upon us and Thanksgiving in less than two weeks, this is very concerning,” Bettigole said.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
Officials worry the current spike in cases, combined with upcoming holiday gatherings could be lead to a new wave of COVID cases.
“The highest number of cases are among 10 to 19-year-olds, many of whom remain unvaccinated. This is worrisome for teens, but it’s especially worrisome for the older adults who may be about to gather for Thanksgiving,” Bettigole said.
Bettigole is urging people to get vaccinated and if you’re already vaccinated, you should get a booster shot.
Many people are eligible for them, including those who are overweight.
Nationwide, almost 200 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but breakthrough cases are surging across the country.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
The U.S is now averaging more than 82,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. That’s up 11% over the daily average two weeks ago.
With the latest spike is creating a new urgency, the FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine booster for all adults as soon as Thursday.
“CDC will quickly review the safety and effectiveness data and make recommendations as soon as we hear from FDA,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director, said.
Moderna boosters are also soon expected to be recommended for everyone.
“At this point, we know that immunity wanes over time, we also know that a third dose of the Pfizer, Moderna vaccine will substantially increase immune protection again,” Dr. Leana Wen, Former Baltimore Health Commissioner, said.MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
With Thanksgiving a week away, many are wondering about keeping the holiday safe. Doctors say it’s best to make sure everyone you’re around is vaccinated. If you’re entertaining, keep windows open as much as possible, and when you’re in public places it’s best to wear a mask.