As the nation heads into the Memorial Day weekend and people are excited to see people and do activities that they haven’t done in some time, the health department is cautioning the public and reminding people that the threat of COVID-19 is still out there.
“Across the state, we are seeing clusters of people who are being infected with COVID-19 — dental clinics, restaurants, nursing homes, daycares, manufacturing facilities and gas stations are just some of the locations where we are beginning to see cases crop up. And our health district is not immune. We have also seen clusters like this appear in the past week,” said Melanie Thompson, emergency response coordinator for the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department.
“We are concerned about the cases that are showing up in our health district; there are many reasons why these types of cases are occurring, including the relaxed directed health measures making it possible to go places we haven’t been in a while or even a quick visit with family over Mother’s Day,” Thompson said in a news release.
Any situation where people group together with others is a potential for spreading COVID-19.
Gov. Pete Ricketts also was asked to comment on possible large gatherings during his news conference Friday afternoon. Ricketts said he has not seen any figures and as a result didn’t want to offer any comment.
Thompson said the best thing that people can do throughout this holiday weekend, and even the coming weeks, is to use appropriate social distancing.
“Staying at least 6 feet away from people can keep you from spreading the disease to others or can keep you from catching it from someone else,” she said. “Use a cloth mask when you’re in crowded areas like the grocery store.”
She also encouraged people to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer to keep from getting sick.
“We want to open the economy up again; we all want to get back to work and play. However, we have to do it responsibly while we’re still dealing with COVID-19 in our communities. So enjoy the weekend, but please do so safely,” she said.