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Health Department Encourages Wise COVID-19 Practice During Independence Day Celebrations

As many across the country are cancelling personal and community Fourth of July Celebrations due to COVID-19, Shelby County prepares for traditional celebrations that will see 100’s of people gathering in familiar and community tradition. To keep you and yours COVID-19 free, there is information we should review again.

In counties around us, nearly 80 percent of cases are in individuals less than 50 years old. In that same group, nearly 25 percent positive tests have been in those that are asymptomatic. The top presenting symptoms include cough, GI upset (primarily diarrhea), headaches, muscle pain, loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat and subjective fever. Fever is not the top presenting symptom and has been present in only 28 percent of local cases reviewed. All of these symptoms could be attributed to “something we’ve eaten,” “whatever’s in the air,” “lack of sleep,” and “a sensitive stomach,” but they could also be related to COVID-19. If you do not feel well stay home. And know, you may feel fine, and still be carrying COVID-19, so wear a mask when you are in public and can’t keep a safe distance.

As you make plans to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness this Independence weekend; think about ways you can help our community stay COVID-19 free. Recognize that the sacrifices by your friend and family and neighbors over the last few months have put in place that many in our country are not: minimal COVID cases. Think about the events that are yet to come: North Shelby prom, NS graduation, state fair, return to school, Old Settlers and Old Threshers — and how the practices we use today to stop and prevent the spread will help all of those traditions continue in the future.

When you head out this weekend, take your lawn chairs, hand sanitizer, a mask, buy spray and sunscreen. Keep a minimum six-feet distance from other households whether you are playing games, watching parades, watching fireworks, enjoying the water, or even walking up to spend time with old friends. When you cannot keep the distance put on a mask. And for those at high risk – avoid large crowds and watch the parades and fireworks from your car or on the internet.

COVID-19 continues to grow in the metro area and in states around us. If you plan to travel or invite out of towners for a visit, look to the John’s Hopkins data map https://coronavirus,jhu,edu/us-mapm, and if the rates of COVID are high, practice self-quarantining, mask wearing, etc. when you come home and/or when your guests are here. Let’s be PROACTIVE and stay safe this Fourth of July weekend.