Health experts express concern over holiday weekend gatherings

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Now that the Labor Day holiday weekend is over, health experts expressed their concern over gatherings of big crowds and what they expect to see in COVID-19 cases in the days ahead.

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said in comparing last year to this year, Labor Day is very similar but also very different. One of the biggest is the number of Covid cases in hospitals. 

“Last year at this time we were 140-150 people turning positive, now we have over 400. So it’s hard to believe that a year later our numbers have gotten worse,” said Dr. Melendez. 

However, something similar he said between last year’s and this year’s celebration is the overall concern of crowd gatherings. 

“If you’re in your regular environment with your family and the people you live with, your daily contact, you are all fully vaccinated, absolutely proceed as a vaccinated person proceeds.” Dr. Melendez adds, “but if you’re out and about in places where it’s unknown people’s vaccination status, you should be more careful.”

Dr. Melendez said even if you’re vaccinated if people choose to gather, the safest way to do it is outside because of how the virus is spread. 

“Let’s remember that this is spread is by droplets. If you’re outside of course the droplets disperse from the air from the heat. If you’re indoors then that infected molecule is going to last longer.”

Dr. Melendez said because of the highly transmissible delta variant he is expecting to see more positive cases in the coming days.

“I do believe in the next week that comes and next weekend we will see an escalation in numbers,” said Dr. Melendez. 

Melendez said he is hopeful more people will get vaccinated.

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