FDOH in Collier County asks people to change the way they celebrate July 4 this year

Within the first three days of July, we have nearly 1,800 new coronavirus cases in Southwest Florida alone.

The real concern right now involves everyone’s behavior this holiday weekend.

A warning from the health department.

“COVID-19 is very real, and it is something that is in our community, and it is community spread,” said Kristine Hollingsworth, FDOH Collier County.

FDOH is calling for you to change the way you celebrate this Independence Day.

It’s a sacrifice Fort Myers mom, Chelsea Ward, is prepared to make.

“There’s a pandemic going on. I don’t want anything to do with large crowds at this point in time,” she said.

Her family’s Fourth of July traditions normally include shopping downtown, going out to eat and watching the fireworks, but this year will look quite different.

“We’re going to cook steaks on the grill at home, and we’re going to watch Hamilton,” she said. “You can still celebrate without putting yourself at risk.”

Hollingsworth says if you choose to stay in, wear masks when you can’t social distance, distance, disinfect high-touch surfaces and consider cutting your guest list.

“Limiting your guest list would be very essential,” she said.

But one of the best things you can do is take advantage of what the Sunshine State has to offer.

“Doing things outdoors in Florida is less risky than doing things where you’re packed indoors,” Hollingsworth said.

So while it may take some compromise, “You can find other ways to celebrate it and still make it meaningful in your family,” says Ward.

You can celebrate safely and help stop the surge.

The Department of Health adds even if you are celebrating outside, if you can’t social distance, you should wear a mask.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Briana Harvath
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