The CDC Director Has Issued This Warning About July 4th Weekend

As Americans look forward to celebrating Independence Day, health experts urge caution.

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, you may be thinking about how you'll celebrate the summer holiday in this unprecedented year. However, with coronavirus cases spiking in many states, health experts are worried about how such celebrations could significantly contribute to the spread. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) telebriefing on June 25 included words of warning surrounding Independence Day. Officials also issued guidance to Americans for observing the holiday safely.

CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, acknowledged that the Fourth of July is usually a joyful family event, but highlighted the importance of being cautious this year. He also intimated that Americans have become lax about coronavirus safety.

"We want to re-emphasize that it's really important that we get back to being vigilant to our collective commitment to do these social mitigation steps to protect the vulnerable friends, family, community, and those individuals that we don't know that we're interacting with, from potentially getting infected and having a poor, negative outcome because of the co-morbidities," warned Redfield. Co-morbidities are existing conditions that experts either know or believe make individuals more susceptible to serious COVID-19 cases.

Father and daughter holding a flag for fourth of July

CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler, MD gave detailed advice on how to mark the day safely. He advised keeping gatherings small and holding them in a large enough space to allow guests to maintain at least six feet of distance between each other. Butler also said that spending time with others outdoors is better than being indoors. Additionally, people should wear masks or face coverings whenever possible.

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The CDC officials noted that the more intimate your gathering is, the safer you will be.

"We do recognize that families will want to be together over the holidays, but being able to minimize the people that you are around, particularly people that you have not been around in the past, is particularly important," said Butler.

For more preventative measures to take before seeing your family this holiday, check out 6 Precautions You Must Take Before Visiting Family.

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