Doctors urging people to use social distancing, masks during July 4th weekend

WATCH: Doctors urging people to use social distancing, masks during July 4th weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Healthcare professionals are urging people to be safe as we head into the July 4th weekend.

Shelby Cunty has seen almost 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 since Saturday.

Normally downtown Memphis would be filled with large gatherings and events this weekend, but things won’t be the same this year.

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Jason Craig told FOX13 he will be staying at home this holiday weekend.

“My wife and I were originally planning on doing your traditional fireworks and all that,” said Craig. “We thought about going out of town but when we saw that they weren’t doing fireworks, it was like well I guess we’ll just stay home.”

Staying home is exactly what Memphis doctors want people to do during the holiday weekend, especially as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues going up by the hundreds each day.

“I would just ask people to pause and see how they can do it differently this weekend,” said Dr. Robin Womeodu.

Womeodu is the Chief Medical Officer at Methodist University Hospital.

She told FOX13 as people consider cookouts or gatherings over the weekend, they need to remember these prevention strategies: washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing masks.

“If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones in terms of practicing those safe practices,” she said.

If possible, the doctor says small gatherings should be held outside so you can social distance.

She says some members of the family like grandparents or anyone with underlying health conditions may have to join the festivities virtually.

Womeodu says everyone has to remember it doesn’t take much for the virus to spread quickly especially if someone is asymptomatic or has little to no symptoms.

“Those people can look fine and feel fine and still be infected and have that virus in their throat or in their nasal passage and pass it on to other people,” she said.

Doctors say one of their concerns about this weekend is maintaining enough hospital beds.

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