Health officials are worried about NYE gatherings

Coronavirus

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – New Year’s Eve is coming, which normally brings some festive gatherings, but officials at the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District are nervous with local COVID-19 cases still being high. 

“We have seen the quick rise in hospitalization,” said Annette Lerma, Public Health Director.

Lerma is concerned about NYE because it’s a holiday known for big celebration.  

“Stay home, celebrate with our own family members, we are hoping that this will be much better next year, there will be more opportunities later to celebrate but right now we have to remain diligent,” said Lerma. 

She says with numbers spiking from Thanksgiving and Christmas, people need to do their part. 

“A lot of people have, they’re not able to see first-hand the impact that it’s having at the hospital, but if you have a loved one that needs to go to the hospital and there is no room for them it could potentially impact you,” said Lerma. 

And if you are having a party, Lerma asks that it’s no more than 10 people – if not less. 

“If your indoors, consider opening windows to allow airflow to move through,” said Lerma. 

The CDC recommends having your music levels low—so you don’t have to shout. 

“There is some good research that shows if you are projecting your voice, singing, shouting, breathing heavy like exercise can force out more infectious matter,” said Lerma. 

The CDC also recommends lowering your alcohol intake because it can impair your immune function.  

Assistant Police Chief Doug Wrenn says the Abilene Police Department will be in full force looking for drunk drivers.  

“As difficult as 2020 has been for all of us the last thing you want to do is put you in the position of starting 2021 behind bars,” said Wrenn. 

Wrenn says the best thing to do is to plan ahead or have a dedicated driver, and Annette says if you do go to bars or parties, wear a mask inside as well.  

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