The One Thing You're Doing That's Fueling New Coronavirus Outbreaks

Officials say this one common activity is behind the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

After three months of self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, it may seem like a relief to see states reopening and people returning to a somewhat more normal version of day-to-day life. But as much as we all want and need social interaction, it's still imperative to distance yourself from friends and family. In fact, a cluster of new coronavirus outbreaks has been linked to people having private gatherings in their homes.

During a press conference on June 24, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that it's still very unsafe to host parties, events, or children's play dates, and now is not the time to let down your guard. "Many of us understandably developed a little cabin fever," Newsom said. "Some, I would argue, have developed a little amnesia."

A group of people gather to share a meal

Even if everyone wears masks, having groups of people from different households come together in one place promotes the spread of COVID-19. Just look to Shasta County, in northern California: The county's department of Health and Human Services recently reported that several individuals tested positive after attending a graduation party. Similarly, nearly 20 people went into quarantine after an infected young man went to a family get-together. In Sacramento County, contact tracers have connected its spike in new cases to gatherings with friends and extended family members, too.

"We cannot continue to do what we have done over the past few weeks," Newsom said. "The reality is people are mixing, and that is increasing the spread of this virus. That shouldn't surprise anybody…We are putting people's lives at risk."

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This warning comes on the heels of California experiencing two consecutive days of record-breaking single-day cases. According to The New York Times, there were 6,419 new cases recorded on June 23, and 5,813 the day before. Hospitalization rates due to the coronavirus have also spiked in the state.

In addition to private gatherings, officials have said reopening bars and other public spaces where groups—especially young people who could spread the disease to more vulnerable individuals—meet up is likely contributing to the climb in coronavirus cases. And for more health updates you should know about, check out This State Is Urging Citizens to Not Leave Home Amid Coronavirus Surge.

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