Public health experts are warning Americans against having too many small gatherings as Labor Day weekend arrives.

What’s going on?

Experts expressed concern that people are hosting small gatherings because they believe there won’t be as big of a chance of infection, USA Today reports. This is a cause of concern, experts said.

  • “People don’t think of it in the same way as the (President) Trump rally in Tulsa, a bunch of people on the beach or in the bars, but these small events add up to a lot. It’s just invisible,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, told USA Today.
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  • “Small gatherings are a concern because there’s so many of them. They may account for a much greater proportion of the cases than we think right now,’’ said Dr. George Rutherford, a colleague of Chin-Hong’s at UCSF, told USA Today.

Small gatherings could be between five to 30 people. Most of these events could happen inside.

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  • Several COVID-19 patients told Chin-Hong that people caught the coronavirus at barbecues, according to USA Today.

Weddings have also led to outbreaks. For example, a rural wedding in Maine led to dozens of coronavirus cases, according to The Washington Post.

Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer at the state’s largest health care system, MaineHealth, and former director of the Maine CDC, told The Washington Post that viruses can “can tear these communities apart.”

  • “It’s a silent guest at the wedding,” she said. “It spreads silently, so that by the time you realize that you yourself have spread it, you’ve already done the damage.”