CNN reports the experts are stressing the importance of remaining vigilant about taking all the necessary safety precautions this holiday weekend -- despite our collective pandemic fatigue and how great the weather might be in your area. They point to previous spikes in cases from Memorial Day and Fourth of July and are urging Americans to not repeat those previous mistakes this holiday weekend. Cases might be dropping in some parts of the country, but in 26 of the 50 states they are on the rise, and America currently has over 6 million reported cases and nearly 185,000 deaths from the virus.
It is recommended to not gather this holiday weekend with people outside of your bubble, and experts warn that college students should remain on campus and not travel home if they are away at school. If you are gathering with others outside of your household this weekend, health officials share the following guidelines to help minimize your risk of infection:
- Get tested: If you are concerned, get tested to ensure you are negative
- Only gather outside: If you will be seeing people outside of your household make sure it happens outdoors
- Have a bad weather plan: If the weather is bad, do not go inside, either deal with the rain or heat or leave the gathering
- Wear a mask: Unless you are eating, you should have your mask on
- Maintain your distance: Each family should be 6 feet apart during the gathering -- this goes for your tables, chairs, food, and containers
- Do not share food: The experts stress that each household should bring and prep their own food and drinks and to not share -- if food is share, separate it ahead of time into individual serving containers
The Doctors also recommend bringing extra masks (in case they get dirty or wet) and extra hand sanitizer, as soap and water might not available.
"We have to be very careful," epidemiologist Ali Mokdad tells CNN. "Until we get a vaccine we have to change our way of life, create a new way of doing business, a new way of socializing."
Adding, "The only way I can recommend for you to behave is to assume you are in fact infected... doing it this way sends a clear message to our children, our teenagers. We have to be role models ourselves in order to survive this virus with less damage and keep our economy going."