Memorial Day: COVID-19 Community Update

This weekend, as our community honors and observes Memorial Day, many will be traveling, spending time outdoors or enjoying some time with family. While we enjoy time with friends and families, we should also remember the origins of the holiday to honor all those who gave their lives to serve our country.

“Normally, our teams share safety messages ahead of Memorial Day weekend, reminding our community members to buckle up and travel safely on a weekend that is known for car accidents. We also encourage you to remember to pack sunscreen, to pay attention to young children near water and to be careful with picnic food left out in the hot sun,” explained Meritus Health’s president and CEO, Maulik Joshi, Dr.PH.

Joshi said that usually, Meritus Health’s emergency and trauma teams see an uptick in car accident injuries, cases of food poisoning and, unfortunately, injuries with young children over the holiday weekend.

As always – remember to pack the sunscreen and drink a lot of water – but, this year, Joshi said another health reminder is in order.

“Over the past month, community COVID-19 positivity rates have continued to increase. Four weeks ago, our community sat near a 2% positivity rate. For the past 10 days, we have been well over 10% positivity. COVID continues to spread in this region,” he said.

If you’re planning to travel out of town, Joshi also recommends review of the COVID-19 data and positivity rate of your destination.

The good news, Joshi said, hospitalizations remain low, suggesting this variant doesn’t seem to be causing severe symptoms or illness.

However, he said, it’s important to note that some people are presenting symptoms that are different than what are typically associated with COVID-19 cases.

“This includes headaches, nausea, fever and more gastrointestinal symptoms than respiratory,” Joshi said.

At Meritus Health, our teams remain ever ready to care for our community, and encourage others to do their part too.

“We want to make sure our neighbors who have underlying health conditions or might be considered high risk are taking precautions, and that everyone is being mindful of hand hygiene, considering using outdoor space for safer large gatherings, and of course, making sure you are up to date on your COVID vaccine and getting suggested boosters,” Joshi said.