Experts say Houston did not see spike in COVID-19 cases from July 4 weekend

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite a surge of COVID-19 cases during July 4 weekend, doctors said the holiday didn't cause any spikes.

According to data from the Harris County Public Health website, the new surge of cases began the last half of June.

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With case numbers beginning to plateau, Dr. Prathit Kulkarni, Assistant Professor of Medicine Infectious Disease at Baylor College of Medicine, said gatherings from July 4 may have helped sustain the surge.

"If you look at the numbers in Harris County over about the last six weeks or so, what you'll see is around mid-June, we had about 500 cases or less per day. And then, really from about late June until the present, we've had about 1,000 to 2,000 cases per day, pretty consistently with some fluctuations, but really we've had that fairly consistently," Kulkarni said. "I think it took going through July 4 and after that to kind of see how things were going to play out, but really, the surge probably started before and then has kind of entered, let's say, a plateau phase, which cases per day are still pretty high, don't get me wrong, but they're not continuing to rise."

Kulkarni said he's optimistic cases could begin lowering in the next two weeks if people practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines.

"This is still a serious problem and especially in our Houston area," Kulkarni said. "I know it's exhausting. It's been weeks, it's been months of doing all this but still, following all the core public health measures now is as crucial as it ever was before, despite the fact that all of us are fatigued by the length of time that this has been going on."

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