Health Officials Warn Of Potential COVID Surge As Travel Increases

With more people traveling across the country, federal and local health authorities are warning another COVID-19 surge could be on the horizon.

Video Transcript

- There are signs of a potential new surge could bring a deadly wave of new infections. KCAL 9's Rachel Kim is live at Burbank Airport with the warnings to not let your guard down. Rachel.

RACHEL KIM: Yeah, Juan and Susie, although local and State COVID numbers have declined, health officials say that could change quickly if we don't remain cautious when traveling or socializing during the upcoming holidays. They say this is not the time to take a break from stopping the spread.

As more people are now traveling across the country, federal and local health authorities are warning there could be a fourth COVID-19 surge on the horizon. That's why they're asking everyone to follow coronavirus protocols when traveling or gathering during spring break and the Easter holiday. Matthew Coleman's family flew to LA to celebrate Passover.

MATTHEW COLEMAN: It was a smaller gathering than normal, but it was still important, and we still wanted-- we went to see my wife's father or my father-in-law. So yeah, I mean, it was a smaller gathering, but it was still fun and we enjoyed ourselves.

RACHEL KIM: LA County health officials said it's important to remember that travel and gathering in person with others increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. They said, while case numbers have decreased in LA County, transmission remains widespread and is increasing in many other States and countries.

CAMERON CAMPOS: If you want to have a spring break, you can do it responsibly, I think. I've seen on the news like in Miami, it's been a little crazy, a little wild. You have to realize that your decisions are going to impact others around you, long term, short term, you never know.

VICTORIA THIELEN: I came and visited my boyfriend, and even though he lives around LA, we didn't really go anywhere. We just went to the beaches, stayed outside, did stuff that wasn't really around a lot of people.

RACHEL KIM: Today CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said right now, the trajectory of the pandemic in the US looks similar to countries in Europe that are now experiencing a concerning spike in cases.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: And we're going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope, but right now, I'm scared.

RACHEL KIM: She says the reopenings and relaxation of restrictions, while the number of new cases are still high and while the variants are spreading quickly, are a threat to the country's progress so far.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: But we actually have it in our power to be done with the scale up of vaccination, and that will be so much slower if we have another surge to deal with as well.

MATTHEW COLEMAN: Anything can happen, but vaccinations are increasing, and so we're excited.

RACHEL KIM: Now, a travel advisory remains in effect for LA County. Residents are supposed to stay within 120 miles of their homes unless they're traveling for essential purposes. Also, people arriving in LA County from other States are supposed to self-quarantine for 10 days. Reporting live in Burbank, Rachel Kim, "KCAL 9 News."

- Rachel, thank you.