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Health experts discourage large holiday gatherings, encourage rethinking summer vacations

Doctors say another spike could gravely affect hospital system

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio health experts are encouraging residents to avoid large gatherings during the upcoming holiday and to rethink how they would want to spend their summer vacations.

This concern comes after the increase of positive COVID-19 cases after Memorial Day weekend when the state was reopening.

“We started seeing people getting out,” said Dr. Mandie Svatek with UT Health San Antonio. “They were having large social gatherings. People were going over to other people’s homes. Now we are seeing the secondary effects of that.”

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As COVID-19 positives in and out of the hospital continue to rise, city officials are discouraging a repeat of reckless actions during the July 4 holiday.

“If we do the same we did for Memorial Day in which we had large group gatherings, we are going to continue to see an uprise in cases,” Svatek said. “That can have an exponential impact. For example, if 10 people meet, one person goes to another location and could possibly give it to another with exposure. You have to just be careful and concerned about that to defeat the coronavirus.”

Svatek said, moving forward with the summer, families need to reconsider their plans for vacations.

“You need to start considering rethinking our vacations and what that means if we go somewhere and we expose someone or get exposed and transmit it to other individuals,” she said. “If you are going to a place where large gatherings are taking place in one spot, you are going to expose yourself and your family, and then you all are going to bring it back home with you. You need to be mindful month by month to reevaluate and think about opportunities to spend time with your family in a safe environment.”

Svatek said when people return from their vacations, it is a safe choice to self-quarantine.

“When they come back, that may be a time when they need to quarantine themselves for a two-week period so that they don’t expose anybody else,” Svatek said. “If they have those potential exposures, then they are going to continue to expose others by meeting with them.”

DATA: Track daily spikes, new COVID-19 cases here

She said when people are careless, that presents a risk for the hospital systems to become overwhelmed to the point of running out of resources.

“We don’t want any family to be in this sort of situation where the decision making has to be, ‘Is this patient sicker than this patient? What does their life mean over this patient?’ We want an environment where we can provide care to all people,” Svatek said.


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