Augusta Health reminding people to wear masks, avoid large gatherings ahead of holiday weekend

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 10:55 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Fourth of July is Saturday, and while some may be tempted to celebrate the holiday, Augusta Health said staying away from large gatherings is your best bet.

Dr. William Doherty, chief medical officer for Augusta Health, said he understands why people may want to get out and celebrate, after we've been quarantining and social distancing for months.

However, going into large groups without a mask and without social distancing isn’t recommended.

"Avoiding those large barbecues at home and in the backyard or in a park," Dr. Doherty said. "It's very critical to try and avoid that this coming weekend, despite the temptation to get something back to normal."

Dr. Doherty said although Virginia has done fairly well with COVID-19 management and Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro have seen fewer cases, now is not the time to get complacent.

Augusta Health said best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing and universal mask wearing.

"I think if we manage it now well over the coming weeks, it's going to save a lot of heartache and increase infections as we proceed through the summer and into the fall," Dr. Doherty said.

If we don’t continue to lower the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, Dr. Doherty said that could lead to a spike, and a spike could mean Virginia would take a step back in re-opening plans.

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