(NBC News) As COVID-19 infections continue to set new records, health officials are issuing another dire warning.

“You have got assume at this point, that there’s so much virus going on in this country, that anybody you walk past, whether it’s outside or inside, there’s a good likelihood they’re infected,” says Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Doctors say the current surge in infections is being fueled by small gatherings.

The nation is beginning to feel the effects of Thanksgiving travel, with Hanukkah and Christmas just weeks away.

“I get it, I want to see my family but this is hugely problematic and if people do in fact travel and see people outside of their homes, it’s setting us up for a very dark winter to come,” warns Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider of California Pacific Medical Center. 

While vaccines are on the way, widespread distribution is still months away.

Read more: https://nbcnews.to/36TjU9M