VDH recommends skipping big parties to celebrate New Year’s safely

Updated: Dec. 30, 2020 at 10:18 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - About a day until the new year and many of us are eager to celebrate the end of 2020, but the Virginia Department of Health is hoping to keep big celebrations to a minimum.

Much like the recommendations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, VDH is pushing for more smaller or virtual celebrations tomorrow night.

“After New Year’s, it’s very possible that were going to see an increased number of [Covid-19] cases,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, VDH’s Deputy Commissioner of Population Health.

Dr. Forlano says the current vaccine rollout is not a time to let down our guard when it comes to trying to stop the spread. She recommends watching the ball drop at home, or holding smaller or even virtual celebrations.

But for those who choose to go out, she recommends wearing your mask and keeping your distance:

“Being outside is a better step. Bundle up, put your hat and gloves on. Just common sense steps to keep yourself safe and keep your family safe.”

One of the main concerns for the health department is the surge in cases lately, the doctor says that they “did see an increase in cases in the time after the Thanksgiving holiday”, and expects “right about now is when we will be seeing or observing the increase from the Christmas holiday”.

But health teams are trying to stay on top of cases; on Tuesday, the Richmond-Henrico Health District hosted a mass testing event at the Diamond, in which nearly 600 people came out to get tested.

“We still have to do the hard work until the vaccine campaign is more along its way. Basic steps make a big difference,” Dr. Forlano added.

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