The post Christmas COVID-19 surge is expected to hit as early as next week due to millions of Americans ignoring pleas to stay home over the holiday. “About a week into the new year, around January 5th, 7th, we're going to start seeing an increase in infections again,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, told Inside Edition.
“Hospitals are preparing for a spike in new cases in mid-January, a surge in hospitalizations by late January and grimmest of all, a spike in deaths by mid-February,” Jha said.
Despite the dire situation, many are still defying restrictions. At La Scala, one of the most popular restaurants in Beverly Hills, management has been caught trying to organize a secret New Year’s Eve party indoors in defiance of dining restrictions.
Invitations were discreetly slipped into to-go orders of favored customers. “Welcome back to the 20s prohibition. Speakeasy — New Years Eve Dinner,” the invitation reads. “Please keep discreet but tell all your friends.”
Meanwhile, the pace of life-saving vaccinations is far slower than hoped. Just 2 million people have gotten the shots — far short of the 20 million expected by the end of the year.
“What we needed was more federal leadership to have a very clear, detailed plan of what would happen after the vaccines hit the states,” Jha said. “And those are not fully developed and states are trying to sort them out on their own.”
Health officials say they are confident every American who wants the vaccine will get it by June of next year.