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Protect vulnerable family, friends during 4th of July

July 03, 2020

Elkins, WV – When deciding the best way for you and your family to celebrate the 4th of July, Randolph-Elkins Health Department (REHD) Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum, RN, MSN, CIC, says this is not the time to change your mind set about being cautious. “We understand people want to celebrate, just please be smart about how you do it,” said Woodrum.

                She offered the following guidelines when planning weekend activities.

  • Get-togethers and barbecues should be held outside if possible with social distancing rules in place by limiting the number of people, placing tables and chairs six feet apart and asking guests to wear face coverings.
  • Designate a single person for the barbequing and serving – this limits the number of people handling or sharing utensils.
  • Consider single serve options for food items like chips, drinks, desserts and other.
  • Encourage frequent handwashing before and after meals.  Disinfect commonly touched surfaces like tables, chair arms, counters and trashcans.  Wear gloves when cleaning up the space and dispose of the gloves after use.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends writing down the guests in attendance in case it is needed for contract tracing in the future.

Covid is transmitted through contaminated droplets in the air, and according to Woodrum, prolonged face-to-face conversations can spread the virus.  “Think about the risk, not just for yourself, but for others,” said Woodrum.

“If you are healthy you may be more willing to take small risks when having a nice time at a private gathering.  Putting yourself at higher risk exposes everyone you come in contact with later, said Woodrum.

With coronavirus activity still present, vigilance remains the best defense in keeping families and communities safe. Visit the CDC website for more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.