Celebrate Fourth of July safely with these tips from health officials

Celebrate Fourth of July safely with these tips from health officials

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the state, the issue of how to celebrate the Fourth of July and socialize safely is on the top of many minds.

The last time we spoke to the South Health District’s spokesperson, she said cases began to rise after Memorial Day weekend after most of them say they traveled.

Now, we are going into another holiday weekend, with another surge possible.

“I think at this point, we are kinda expecting it at any time really, so many people are getting back together and having family trips, going to parties, going to events where they aren’t able to social distance. So, of course, we are seeing our numbers start to rise. So yeah, we probably will have a few extras about a week or two after the Fourth of July,” said Courtney Sheeley, Director of Communications & Special Projects for the South Health District.

Sheeley says those going out should wear a mask or any type of cloth covering for their mouth and nose. Avoid crowded areas when watching fireworks. And if you are sick, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home.

And to those who plan to travel, Sheeley said take precautions.

“Just know where you are going. I think it’s the biggest thing. Some places have mandated that you wear a mask. Also, know that if you are in an area where there is a high number of people that have COVID-19 to take those extra precautions and make sure you are wearing a mask and social distancing. If you aren’t able to wash your hands often, make sure you have plenty of hand sanitizer with you. Little things like that,” said Sheeley.

The Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey made a stop in Valdosta on Thursday.

She joined Gov. Brian Kemp on a “Wear a Mask” tour across Georgia to raise awareness and help stop to spread going into the holiday weekend. She says we should be mindful of other people’s health as well, not just ours.

“It’s so important for everybody to remember that we can stop this virus. By reminding everyone we have a responsibility, to protect others as well as ourselves and our families. Wear a mask,” said Toomey.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the current number of positive cases in Lowndes County, as of Thursday, is 1,263, and there are 12 deaths.

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