Greenville Mayor and local doctors urging the public to follow health guidelines during the holiday season

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville Mayor Knox White held a press conference with representatives from local hospitals to talk about COVID numbers and staying safe during the holidays Tuesday afternoon. 

COVID cases are hitting hard and on the rise, not just in Greenville, but all across the country and the prospect of Thanksgiving social gatherings is cause for concern for health officials.

“This serge is preventable and one of the big pieces of this that makes it preventable is wearing the mask,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone, with Bon Secours, said.

Health officials pointed to past holiday gatherings like the Fourth of July and Halloween as root causes for an increase in infections and hospitalizations. Health facilities are near capacity, so the message to follow healthcare guidelines is crucial.

“It’s even more of a reality today than it was back in the summer, because we didn’t have the flu like we did in the summer, but now it’s getting colder and people are going indoors, you add the flu, it’s a real possibility,” Dr. Blackstone said.

While families will no doubt gather for the holidays, doctors stress, you can never be too careful.

“Number one: limit the number of people, immediate family only. Number two: when you’re inside together wear a mask, you should separate while you eat because everybody has to have their mask down, if you have elderly parents – mask the parent. One person that is masked and gloved should serve the food to everybody. Don’t let people serve on an open buffet at home,”  Prisma Health Dr. Wendell  James said.

Greenville Mayor Knox White set the stage to help get the message out, hoping to keep those celebrating Thanksgiving healthy and happy.

“It’s very important again to hear from our local healthcare professionals. What do they think about the Thanksgiving holiday and the impact it’s going to have over the next two weeks and again reminders of what we can do to stop the spread,” Mayor White said.

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