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WCPH asks residents to not gather for holidays

With active COVID-19 spread in the community, Webster County Public Health is asking residents to avoid gathering in large groups for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations to help curb future exposures to the virus.

The department encourages residents to plan virtual celebrations instead.

The county saw an increase of COVID-19 cases about 10 days after Halloween and is anticipating an uptick as it nears two weeks after Thanksgiving due to gatherings.

“We understand the need to do something that feels normal and exciting, but that time will come,” said Kelli Bloomquist, public information officer for WCPH. “None of us wants a family member to be exposed, get sick or even to pass away just because of an in-person gathering. The holidays are a time to be thankful. Please be thankful for life, for science, for health care and public health workers by celebrating at home with the hope to be in-person in 2021.”

WCPH asks that residents who do choose to gather to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for two weeks after gathering and to contact their medical provider if they feel testing is needed.

“If you are awaiting test results, it is imperative to self-quarantine until you know the results of your COVID test,” Bloomquist said.

WCPH’s COVID hotline is still available to residents with questions regarding COVID-19, quarantine and isolation guidance, exposures and more. The hotline is available by telephone at 515-227-7153 or via email at WebCoCOVID@WebsterCountyIA.org.

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