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Triad infectious disease expert weighs in on causes behind state's rise in cases

North Carolina is seeing the highest number of cases since the pandemic started. Wake Forest Baptist Health's Dr. Christopher Ohl said we need to stay vigilant.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — It's a new record we didn't want to set.

North Carolina saw its biggest uptick in new coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.

A Triad infectious disease expert said household gatherings may be contributing to the rise in cases.

Inviting a small group of friends over to watch a football game or maybe for a birthday party may seem harmless. Wake Forest Baptist Health expert Dr. Christopher Ohl said you may be inviting the coronavirus into your home too.

"Anytime there's an opportunity for two bubbles to come together, COVID could be hiding in one of those bubbles and it's a chance for exposure," Ohl said.

Dr. Ohl said beach trips and other vacations were concerning over the summer.

Cooler weather is bringing people indoors and that can cause more problems with gatherings.

"Remember, outside is better than inside," Ohl said.

He's also keeping a watchful eye on whether cases might spike due to Phase 3 reopenings of places like bars.

"People aren't supposed to be indoors at drinking establishments other than to go in to get the drink and then scoot out so I would keep an eye on that," Ohl said.

Looking ahead, he's also concerned about Thanksgiving celebrations next month and said traditions may need to change this year.

"This is gonna be a year for the small, intimate Thanksgiving. So everyone think about that," Ohl said.

Doctor Ohl says another big factor causing the uptick in cases takes place outside of the home.

He said cases in the workplace are rising too because during lunch breaks people often take off their masks.

 Always remember those 3 W's can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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