Health director: Holiday season must look different this year amid COVID-19

Health director: Holiday season must look different this year amid COVID-19
The CDC recommends low or moderate risk activities this Halloween, eliminating traditional activities to avoid the spread of COVID19. (Source: wlox)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond and Henrico Health District Director is warning that the holiday season must look different this year to help keep COVID-19 at bay.

There were 775 new cases were reported overnight, along with 21 additional deaths. The positivity rate fell again to 4.5 percent.

It can be hard to keep track but health officials say those numbers are moving in the right direction, particularly in the city of Richmond.

Dr. Danny Avula congratulated Richmonders on two big milestones: 31 straight days of decreasing cases and 24 days of a dropping positivity rate.

While those are accomplishments, he still cautioned that residents cannot let their guard down.

Avula had two big concerns for the weeks ahead. He said Halloween and the entire holiday season must look different this year - parties, haunted houses and trick-or-treating without masks and social distancing are all viewed as high risk.

Mayor Levar Stoney suggested some alternatives, including a family pumpkin carving night or a virtual costume contest.

Stoney and Avula also talked about getting ahead of the flu season. The city is hosting its first free flu vaccine clinic of the season this Friday.

Free flu shots and masks will be available at the Southwood Apartments, just off Hull Street Road. The event is from 4-6 p.m.

The mayor says the city is working to focus more on these events in communities with large Latino populations. He cited research that showed mask-wearing is down in many of those communities.

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