LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the nation, small gatherings are becoming a growing source of the spread.
And health experts are seeing that happen nationally and locally.
"Community spread is now occurring with small gatherings, day after day, households and families and friends," said Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as coronavirus response coordinator for the White House.
She echoed what the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday: Small, indoor gatherings are becoming a growing source of COVID-19 spread as cases and hospitalizations are on the rise nationwide.
Experts in Louisville are seeing that trend as well. Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, said in a recent Facebook Live video that contract tracers in Louisville are discovering the same.
"They're reporting the majority of our cases are report contacts as household guests or family members," she said.
With the holidays right around the corner, Dr. Joseph Flynn, chief administrative officer with Norton Medical Group, said now is not the time to let down your guard.
"The risk is never going to be zero," he said. "If you have one person who comes into your house, there's a risk. You're actually exposed to whomever they were exposed to, potentially."
He advises being vigilant, because telling the difference between COVID-19 and the flu is nearly impossible.
"If someone has a stuffy nose, we don't know if they have allergies," Flynn said. "Do they have a cold? Do they have the flu? Or do they have COVID?"
If you do have symptoms, Flynn said talk to your health care provider and consider getting tested. As you start to think about family gatherings, he said now is the time to get creative.
"You and I are doing this by Zoom, but if we were meeting right now, we would maintain a social distance apart," he said. "We'd both be wearing masks, and we'd really decrease our risk."
As far as COVID-19 cases in Louisville, after trending toward red status last week, the city is staying steady at orange for now. That means about 24 cases per 100,000 people per day, according to Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.