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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

With new COVID-19 cases and active cases surging recently in Shelby County, there's growing concern about gatherings for 4th of July weekend

With barbecues, picnics, and pool parties planned, doctors provide safety tips and reminders to help you stay healthy after the holiday

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — "The Fourth of July has me petrified because we've seen spikes after Memorial Day and spikes after Mother's Day," Dr. Jeff Warren of the Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force said.

That's why health experts Monday sounded the alarm and urged the public be safe and smart this upcoming holiday weekend.

"Try to have your events outside not inside, try to particularly protect those of older generations," Dr. Steve Threlkeld with Baptist Memorial Hospital said.

Dr. Threlkeld also reminded the public to avoid communal condiments or utensils to limit the risk of COVID-19.

"It's best not to have buffets, where everybody picks up the same spoon, dishes out baked beans or whatever you might dish out," Dr. Threlkeld said.

"Wash your hands frequently, keep your distance, and if you can't keep your distance, even outside, put a facial covering on," Dr. Warren added.

Beyond the COVID-19 concerns for the Fourth of July holiday, there's the heat. With dangerous 'feel-like' heat levels above 100 degrees forecast later this week, health experts suggest those with certain conditions take extra caution.

"When we have heat advisories outside, people who have these breathing problems already know that they don't need to be out in the middle of the day, they tend to go out and do their business at the beginning of the day and I would advise that they do that," Dr. Warren said.

Health experts also said Monday afternoon it's too early to consider temporarily closing bars in Shelby County to curb the local COVID-19 spread. Instead, they said the larger issue is not enough people are properly social distancing.

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