Doctors recommend some Fourth of July activities while staying safe from COVID-19

Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 9:15 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Doctors said there are a few things people need to remember while celebrating the Fourth of July to stay COVID-free.

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America’s birthday. People turn on their grills, light fireworks, and enjoy the holiday with those who mean the most.

“We are doing a firework show for the kids,” Jackson resident, Myra Robertson, said.

“I plan on celebrating a little bit with my family and going out on the water a little bit,” Jackson resident, James Cornelius, said.

However, as COVID cases begin to rise, Dr. Anita Varkey with Oak Street Health said there are few things people can do to stay healthy while participating in the holiday’s activities.

“It is actually super reasonable for the person who is symptomatic to be wearing a mask so that you’re keeping your germs to yourself. And that is actually super thoughtful as far as then other people in attendance would not have to necessarily wear a mask,” Dr. Varkey explained.

Jackson residents said their goal this holiday is to enjoy themselves while not adding to the COVID case numbers. Dr. Varkey said testing before gatherings could help with that.

“If you are having a large gathering on Monday morning, and you’re the host, [it’s] certainly reasonable to think about yourself. Test that morning before people come over. Similarly, if you are going into someone else’s space and you’ve been traveling,” Dr. Varkey said.

Dr. Varkey said social distancing and smaller gatherings outdoors are a great way to participate in Fourth of July events with family and friends, which several Jackson residents said they plan on doing.

“I got a couple of family members in a circle and a couple of friends that’s in my inner circle, and we [are] just going to enjoy and celebrate just in between us,” Cornelius said.

“Just a little closer due to COVID that is still spreading, and we’re trying to be as safe as possible and still enjoy each other,” Pearl resident, Meria Stribling, said.

What about fireworks shows?

Dr. Varkey said social distancing at events like that is the way to go this holiday weekend.

“Going to see your local neighborhood fireworks displays is certainly lovely. If you’re in the local high school, you know, football stadium, right? There’s usually a good opportunity to spread out,” Dr. Varkey explained.

Dr. Varkey added if you are someone who is at a higher risk of having COVID-19 complications, to avoid larger gatherings and wear a mask.

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