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Health officials urge people to avoid gatherings to prevent spread of COVID-19

Posted at 12:03 AM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 01:03:13-05

Wash your hands and social distance. These are things we’ve heard throughout the entire pandemic, but now with COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases on the rise, how do we slow the spread?

When the pandemic started, we heard this:

“Stay safe out there. Everybody mask up. Wash your hands,” said Advent Health Central Texas Quality Executive Director Karen Percell.

Along with social distancing guidelines and some restrictions, the spread of the pandemic slowed down, but now we've seen cases in our area pick back up.

“We’ve had some days that have spiked really, really high and usually that’s earlier in the week,” said Bell County Health District Director Dr. Amanda Robison-Chadwell.

Hospitalizations are on the rise too.Now locals are wondering what local county and city leaders plan to do to boost efforts to slow the spread.

“They need to set the example,” said Bell County resident Noah Gano. “They need to say, "We need to stop as much contact," but we also can’t lose our American values. We can’t sacrifice freedom. We can’t be forcing people to stay in.”

Some believe more testing could help, but local health officials don’t believe that’s the answer.

“You can take seven to 10 days from exposure to test positive for the virus. So, unless you get tested every single day, that’s not going to be much help to you,” said Dr. Robison-Chadwell.

With the holidays coming up, there are currently no plans to add local restrictions. There's also no time-frame for COVID-19 vaccines.

Local health officials are asking people to avoid gatherings all together.

“I know it’s easy to want to take off that mask and have a face-to-face conversation with someone because it’s counterintuitive to how we work,” said Percell. “However, it’s important so that we prevent the spread.”

“I sympathize, I really do. It’s better just to wait it out and save that energy for later after we’ve been able to get the vaccine and things start to turn to some semblance of normal,” said Dr. Robison-Chadwell.