HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Labor Day weekend is often known as the unofficial start of fall.
The three-day weekend is usually a time to enjoy the weather with family and friends, but this year will be different.
“We cannot go back to what we were doing before,” said Dr. Jose Maldonado.
Over 180,000 people have died from COVID-19. Dr. Maldonado works at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and warns large functions can lead to spikes in cases.
“A few weeks after the [peak] in our region for the Rio Grande Valley was in July 21 after the July holidays,” he said.
In July, the governor signed an executive order prohibiting large gatherings of more than 10 people. Dr. Maldonado urges people to get creative to spend time with family.
“A zoom meeting if you want to do it that way you can call your loved ones. You can do things outside,” he said.
Police departments including, Edinburg and Harlingen, will be on the lookout for drunk drivers.
“Labor Day weekend is the second most deadliest after Memorial Day weekend when it comes to fatality crashes. The police department tends to see a spike with calls for reckless drivers,” said Arielle Benedict, Public Information Officer for the Edinburg Police Department.
Departments say they will break up a large party if they come across them.
“People are more than welcome to call them in and we will respond accordingly,” she said.
Even though cases are declining, health officials want people to remain vigilant.
“Even though we have improved somewhat we still have the virus circulating our communities and there are people who will get a very severe illness. People with obesity, diabetes cardiac disease,” said Dr. Maldonado.
If you do attend a gathering, frequent hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing needs to remain a top priority.