Vaccination vs. vacation: Will spring break affect COVID-19 case numbers?

Virus Outbreak masks crowd
Posted at 7:56 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 00:48:04-05

PHOENIX — It's been a year, since "coronavirus reality" sunk in for most people, and now on the eve of spring break, it's our first test of widespread vaccination versus vacation.

In our analysis of the numbers, there was a bit of a surprise.

"So based on data from Carnegie Mellon University, it seems that we are at the highest point of mobility since the pandemic began," ABC15 data guru Garrett Archer explains.

"This particular metric is, being away from home for more than six hours," he says.

If spring break further boosts mobility and that, in turn, affects case numbers, we'll see it in a matter of days.

"If something were to happen, we would see an increase in cases within about seven to 14 days. We would be able to track that trend if it happens. For the mobility? We wouldn't be able to ascribe mobility to that trend for at least another five days after that," Archer says.

So what's on our side?

Twenty percent of American adults have received (at least) their first dose of the vaccine.

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see if spring break will bring an increase in cases, Archer tells us.

"If anything, it may slow down the pace of decline that we are having right now, but again we are not certain until it actually happens."