Coronavirus cases expected to rise during holidays, doctor offers tips to possibly limit exposure if you gather with extended family

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — With coronavirus cases on the rise across the country, is it safe to gather during the holiday season?

“The best way to protect yourself and your family would be to only gather with your immediate household members even consider gathering virtually,” Dr. Ezinne Nwude said.

The Arkansas Department of Health announced a record 42 deaths were added today bringing the total to 2,225 deaths. This is the most deaths for Arkansas in a 24 hour period due to COVID-19.

Last Friday, Gov. Hutchinson announced a record-breaking 2,312 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours.

Dr. Nwude says we are seeing the effects from Halloween gatherings and increased travel and exposure could lead to more cases.

“We are going to see an increase unfortunately because of the holiday seasons,” Dr. Nwude said.

“Families that gather, there’s a higher chance that this virus will continue to spread. This is the winter season and this virus tends to multiply when it is cold,” she said.

Dr. Nwude believes it is important to for the public not to drop their guards on preventing the spread of this deadly disease but if you insist on getting together with those who live outside of your home, here are some tips she offers on limiting the risk of exposure:

· Ask those attending to self-quarantine and be diligent about using precautions in advance to your gathering

· If possible, get tested before

· Wear masks when you’re not eating

· Limit the number of people attending the gathering to a manageable number that can appropriately social distance and spread out while you eat

· Limit the time you spend together the longer your together, the higher the exposure risk

· Eat outside or in well ventilated areas

· Don’t share serving utensils, appetizers, or dips

· Protect those who are high risk- 65 and older, obesity, diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer

“Be considerate of them. As much as you want to spend time with them remember that they are at high risk. Most people that have covid don’t have any symptoms,” she said.

To learn more about the possible risk of exposure in an area you plan on traveling to, check this out:

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