COVID-19 has not disappeared.
In fact, cases are on the rise again. According to a New York Times, tracking tool the average test positivity rate is up 40% as reported by Barron's on Dec. 5.
Hospitalizations are up as well. For the week ending on Nov. 29, the CDC's latest data shows that there was a 17.6% increase in new hospital admissions compared to the week prior, as reported by COVID hospitalizations have reached in the last three months, according to Yahoo.
"If we are going to see a big [COVID] surge, it's going to start to ramp up now," Jeffrey Shaman, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told the newspaper. "And it's going to extend and probably peak in late December and early January."
This uptick has sparked discussions in California about bringing back mask mandates. During a press conference on Dec. 1, LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that the largest county in the US had reached "medium" COVID-19 transmission levels and will require face coverings if it reaches the "high category", as reported by ABC News.
Workers have been keeping an eye on this and back in November, a Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of employees (64%) said they expect COVID-19 infections in the U.S. to increase in the upcoming fall and winter months. The research showed that 14% of workers expect infections to increase "a great deal" and 50% "a moderate amount," while just 8% think infections will decrease and 29% think they will stay the same.
With that in mind employees still fear that they are concerned about being exposed to the virus at work. While the numbers have decreased, about one in four still say they are "very" (6%) or "moderately" (20%) concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus at work, while a third are "not too concerned" and 41% are "not concerned at all."