CDHD urges everyone to stay home on New Year’s

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 8:45 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - 2020 has been full of ups and downs and however tempting it may be to go out and bring in the new year, the Central District Health Department urges everyone to stay home.

Health officials understand why people feel the need to purge one of the hardest and craziest years of their lives, but they believe the district has come too far to let COVID-19 get out of control again.

“If people let loose and say, “forget it I’m going to party like I’ve never partied before,” then we’re going to see an increase in hospitalizations, we’re going to see it spread throughout schools, we’re going to see it again in our long-term care facilities where we’re already seeing some outbreaks,” CDHD Director Teresa Anderson said. “We need to have time to get the vaccine in people’s arms and it’s coming, we just need to be patient.”

Even though hospitalizations are down statewide, the Central District is still battling the virus head on. It’s only mid-week and the district has already surpassed last week’s case numbers. Last week there were 134 new positive cases and on Thursday, Dec. 31, there were 167 new cases. Officials believe it might have something to do with Christmas gatherings.

The health department asks people to hold out a little while longer. They urge people to stay away from bars, nightclubs and large gatherings, because it will only lead to another surge in cases, people getting sick and losing their lives.

“The problem with this virus has been and will continue to be the asymptomatic carriers, the people who don’t know they’re sick and feel like “oh yea, I’ll go out and I’ll have a good time or I’ll go to a small group or big group” and the number of people that could be infected is as big as the group size,” Anderson said.

Officials said it is possible for people to celebrate safely in small gatherings, however, people need to wear masks when they’re not eating or drinking. It also has to be hosted in a big enough area, preferably outside for people to spread out and be socially distanced.

The health department believes the best way to beat COVID-19 is to stay home this year in your own household, because it’s hard to follow these precautions for small gatherings indoors. They recommend people watch movies or play board games, and just reflect on the year they’ve had and the blessings of the future.

“We’re asking people to just curtail it, maybe just do the household celebrations. There will be many New Year’s Eves to come and we want everyone to be around to celebrate those,” Anderson said.

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