As COVID-19 continues to circulate, and the more transmissible UK variant threatens to become the dominant strain, Alabama public health officials caution against indoor gatherings ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.
“ADPH is advising against close, indoor gatherings with non-household members ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, in an effort to prevent further coronavirus spread,” said the Alabama Department of Public Health in a press release. “The risk of close contact with others, especially when combined with increased alcohol use, can lead to asymptomatic spread. The safest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year is to gather virtually or with people who live with you.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest the public avoid indoor gatherings, and instead suggest holding any gatherings outdoors, with mask wearing and social distancing.
“The safest way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year is to gather virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others,” the CDC said in a statement.
Public health officials continue to urge mask wearing and social distancing, which they say are two of the best ways to prevent the disease’s spread.
Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris on Friday told reporters that there had been 71 cases of the UK variant found in Alabama thus far.
“We suspect there are a lot more of those,” Harris said, adding that because the UK variant spreads more easily there is concern it could become the dominant strain.