GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - With Memorial Day less than a week away, some of us are wondering how we can safely celebrate during this pandemic, and if it's even a good idea to travel.
The Central District Health Department offers tips for how to safely celebrate Memorial Day during this pandemic. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)
The short answer: You can still hit the road to go to your Memorial Day destinations.
There are, of course, health risks associated with traveling right now.
"The virus is not going to take a break because it's Memorial Day," said Teresa Anderson, Central District Health Department.
Anderson said there are still ways you can have fun and continue following current safety measures and restrictions.
She said the best way to celebrate this year is at home. You can grill out with your family, or have a picnic in your backyard.
If you do go to another county, Anderson said you should check the travel restrictions and viral activity in that spot so you know what to avoid.
Wherever you're going, it's best to only travel with the people you live with. Whatever you do can still only be with ten people.
Anderson said the district's positive rate of lab tests is now 10 percent, which is much lower than the 46 percent rate they saw about four weeks ago.
"We're starting to come out. We've seen better numbers here in our district, but what we want is to not push it," Anderson said. "If we get crazy and start having big parties, and lots of folks, and lots of gatherings, we're going to get hit hard again and it's going to back us up."
There are still other safe activities you can do this holiday.
With some regulations, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is opening all camping, including tents, at 35 state recreation areas Friday.
But because of its close proximity to Grand Island, Mormon Island isn't one of them.
You won't be able to swim there either, but you can still fish and hike, so long as you keep within the ten person limit.
You can also fish and picnic at L.E. Ray and Eagle Scout Parks in Hall County
"Keep that hand sanitizer handy regardless of where you are. If you're going to go to the lake, take that with you. Clean water's not going to be in easy supply for you, so make sure you're using that hand sanitizer," Anderson said.
She said it's possible we could see loosened restrictions in the Central District Health Department's area in the next week or two, so this isn't the time to take a vacation from practicing social distancing and other safety measures.