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COVID-19 prevention tips just in time for Independence Day
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Independence Day weekend is usually all about celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, as COVID-19 cases surge across much of the nation, people in Southern Oregon may be questioning how to commemorate the day safely.
“We know people are tired of being cooped up at home and are eager to get out and enjoy summer, but cases surged after Memorial Day,” said Klamath County Health Officer Wendy Warren, MD. “We don’t want that to happen over the Independence Day holiday. As we celebrate this weekend, we need to think about the risks associated with our activities.”
People looking for an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration will have to reconsider: Fireworks in many areas have been canceled, and the fast-changing situation means would-be revelers will want to first check with local health authorities and local event organizers. For those who attend fireworks displays in their community, experts suggest finding a spot to watch from the car, with guaranteed physical distancing.
Wondering whether going to a holiday gathering is worth the risk? Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the larger the crowd and the longer the interaction, the higher the potential for catching or spreading COVID-19. The risk in each area also rises with that community’s level of transmission.
Gatherings of family and friends for cook-outs is a natural part of the holiday celebration. CDC offers the following guidelines for hosting celebrations.
Remind guests to stay home if they are sick
Encourage social distancing
Wear cloth face coverings
Clean hands often
Limit the number of people handling or serving food
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items
If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.