SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease, more people are venturing out and holding get-togethers again. Meanwhile, Utah doctors continue to say large events can lead to increased transmission of the virus.
“The risk of transmission (especially in a crowded environment, is in my opinion very high) and at a concert or big family gathering, it only takes one or two individuals who have infection (and they may have no symptoms) and could potentially spread it to a lot of people,” said Dr. Mark Oliver, an infectious diseases specialist at St. Mark’s Hospital of MountainStar Healthcare.
At this point, Utah has yet to reach community immunity, as only about half of the state’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. And doctors are reminding the public that with large events and gatherings happening, there’s likely to be higher transmission rates of COVID-19.
“Situations and settings where there’s dense crowding for prolonged periods of time or in poor ventilation are the environment where transmission is most likely to occur,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare. “Where we’re at right now, a setting where we are seeing fairly significant increases in transmission because our levels of community immunity are still not high enough to prevent widespread transmission.”
With cases on the rise, Dr. Webb and Dr. Oliver said there’s concern about ongoing events. They both say the pandemic is not over and they’re urging people to get the shot to help slow down the virus’ transmission.