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Rise in COVID-19 cases raises new safety concerns for Fourth of July

Local

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The 4th of July has arrived, but with COVID-19 still very much around, there are new safety concerns to keep in mind over the holiday weekend.

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Louisiana Department of Health Region 7 Director Dr. Martha Whyte says precautions need to be taken whether you’re going to the lake or setting off fireworks in celebration of the holiday.

“You know, we want people to have fun, we want people to get together, and enjoy each other, but we also want them to be safe.”

Whyte says celebrations should be limited to only small groups of people.

“The people that you are self-isolating with, so your kind of family unit, or the people you been close to this whole last couple of months.”

It’s better if to be outdoors in the open air, where there is plenty of ventilation and social distancing is easier.

“If you are really truly social distancing a minimum of six feet, then you can consider taking your mask off it’s really hot to be outside with a mask on for a long time.”

But if you plan to grill out, have your guests bring their own food or drinks.

“Their own drinks so that they don’t get mixed up or make sure we don’t have a big bowl of chips that everybody is going to dig into, one person serves instead of like a big everybody serves themselves.”

And if you plan to hop on a boat, keep it to a small group.

“You don’t really know what your friends have been doing, where they went to dinner with,” White advises. “If I went out to dinner to a big packed place, I’m bringing all those germs to you when you and I go out on the boat.”

Whyte says it’s important to remember that following the rules is the key to keeping yourself and others safe.

“Wash your hands, keep your hands off your face, wear your mask when you can’t social distance, other than that, that’s really all we’re asking you to do.”

Coronavirus numbers have risen in Caddo and Bossier, and Whyte says Northwest Louisiana is looking the same as it did back in late April and early May. Caddo Parish is back in the triple digits and Bossier Parish is in the high double digits as number increase over the last few days, with Caddo adding 102 more cases Thursday and Bossier Parish adding 41 more.

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