County Officials WARN residents about large weekend gatherings
Memorial Day Weekend has County officials worried about gatherings that can spread the coronavirus. This holiday weekend usually is the time for large barbeques, backyard parties and cookouts which could spell disaster if participants do not follow COVID guidelines. Health care experts warn people to not go overboard and do not ignore CDC guidelines for the protection of yourself and your family.
“We are not out of the woods in Yuma County when it comes to coronavirus,” explains Susan Thorpe, County Administrator. “Yuma County’s cases continue to rise significantly. We are not experiencing a downward trend like other parts of Arizona. Now more than ever residents here need to ensure they practice precautions like washing hands, staying at least 6 feet apart and wearing a face covering when they are out.”
Of course County officials want everyone to enjoy their holiday, but they must be practical in their approach to gatherings, limiting them to no more than 10 people. Residents should be keeping trips to the store at a minimum with only one person per family going to the store. We are encouraging everyone to wear a face covering, keep at least 6 feet of distance from others, wash their hands frequently and take other actions that we’ve been promoting.
Even though Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has lifted his stay at home restrictions, we must keep in mind that as a state and within our region, we are still well into this pandemic and the threat of infection still remains high, as shown by the increase in positive cases, which are not only due to the increase in testing. Contact tracing and symptom reporting confirm that Yuma County has community spread. Medical and health services professionals have stated that Yuma County has yet to hit its peak, and likely won’t do so for at least two weeks.
The lifting of the stay at home order does not in any way eliminate our responsibility as members of our community to take actions to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves, our families, our coworkers and our friends. These actions are simple but extremely important:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Clean surfaces that you or others touch often with a good household cleaner, and do it often as well;
- Maintain at least a six (6) foot distance between you and others at all times;
- Wear a facial cover or mask whenever you go out in public, regardless of whether you are six (6) feet apart or not, and keep in mind that wearing a mask does not eliminate your need to keep six (6) feet apart;
- Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people at all times; and
- If you are sick or not feeling well, stay home and contact your medical provider as soon as possible.
Slowing the virus is all of our responsibility and choosing to follow such easy steps, even if they seem annoying, is the right thing to do. Think you are not subject to these rules? Think you are not at risk? Think again. Many of the people we contact with new infections have a similar reactionary statement of “I just didn’t think it would happen to me,” stated Diana Gomez, Director of Yuma County Public Health Services District. “It’s a deeply emotional and gloomy reality for these individuals.” Gomez continues, “not only are they now sick, but they have possibly subjected their family, friends, coworkers and others such as those who serve us in business and industry to the infection as well.”
While Yuma County residents now have the ability to visit businesses, restaurants and retail shops that were closed for so long due to the prior stay at home order, we still must do so responsibly so that we are all safe and healthy, and so that businesses can remain open in a safe and healthy manner, without the need to close again. The last thing any of us want is to go back to a full stay at home executive order. Do your part to make sure we all get through this.