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Health experts advise West Virginians on safety over Memorial Day Weekend

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 7:17 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Whether you’re traveling by plane, car or just staying local, this Memorial Day Weekend has a more normal look compared to last year when the pandemic was in its early stages.

“We’ve been given the go ahead that, if we’re vaccinated anyway, we don’t have to wear our masks and we can be together, and that’s really exciting,” said Dr. Kathryn Moffett, a pediatrics professor and the pediatrics disease specialist at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Now with a 60 percent increase in travelers compared to last year’s holiday weekend, health experts are trying to make sure the excitement of being around others doesn’t lead to a possible trip to an emergency room.

“We want to make sure that we’re focused on the things we’re doing, whether it’s driving or working on the house, boating, swimming, just remember that at any moment, and sometimes it only takes a second, to have a lifechanging tragedy,” Dr. Kevin Mace, an emergency medicine physician at the United Hospital Center.

Danger also happens to still live beyond your vehicles this year. Active covid cases are still steady, and even a year later, this Memorial Day Weekend doesn’t allow much wiggle room for anyone not fully vaccinated.

“If you’re not fully vaccinated then you should be wearing your mask because there is covid out there. Our hospitals report several deaths every week from covid and these are younger people, these are not the elderly,” Moffett said.

Many health experts who are saying the same rules at the beginning of the pandemic apply for those who aren’t vaccinated and want to spend time with others, the only new suggestion that didn’t exist last year involves the shot.

“For yourself, for your family, for your community, get vaccinated,” Dr. Moffett said.

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