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Doctors issue 4th of July warning amid coronavirus pandemic

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 4:00 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) -The State Department of Health Services says the spike in COVID-19 cases is partially connected to younger people and those cases were traced back to close contact in bars. Heading into the holiday weekend, health care officials are asking people to celebrate sensibly.

The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks, swimming, parades and barbecues. And every year doctors encourage people to make sure they stay safe during the holiday.

“It’s the typical concerns of summer of heat exposure, fireworks -- making sure people are safely lighting legal fireworks, trying not to mix alcohol with fireworks especially with little children around,” says Dr. Zach Baeseman a ThedaCare family medicine physician.

But, in the midst of a global pandemic this year, doctors are offering a new warning to people as they celebrate independence day.

Dr. Baeseman says, "I think people really need to be wise about how they are congregating, making sure that they are not congregating in large numbers, making sure that they are practicing social distancing as best as they are able, making sure they are wearing a mask if they're out in public, all those kinds of things."

The warning isn’t meant to keep people from going out and celebrating or getting together with others. In fact, celebrating the holiday is okay, it’s just a matter of doing it responsibly.

“I think there’s real ability to go out and potentially have some fun. Having a barbecue, just smaller gatherings are definitely going to be safer than large public gatherings and really being mindful of that risk that people are taking on is super important,” adds Dr. Baeseman.

Most large gatherings, like many community fireworks, are canceled this year. A few public events are taking place, but restrictions have been put on attendance. However people choose to celebrate the Fourth, they need to take responsibility for their own safety while considering others, too.

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