Can you safely attend events and gatherings amid COVID-19 surge?

Coronavirus

Governor Beshear is sounding the alarm after a major covid case increase fueled by the Delta variant.

Friday he reported 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, one of our highest increases yet.  But in Lexington, we’re heading into weeks with events and gatherings.

With the end of summer in sight, events and gatherings are filling many calendars. It starts with CRAVE food & music festival kicking off on Saturday.  The Woodland Art Fair and the Railbird Festival are not far behind.

But are they safe as cases of COVID-19 surge? It depends, according to emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton.

“The more outdoor the space the safer and better it’s going to be,” Dr. Stanton says.

This means an event like CRAVE is a better option. Organizers here are taking steps to keep visitors safe, including moving to an all-digital “CRAVE bucks” system where people buy credits ahead of time.

They’re also recommending COVID tests. It’s a protocol the doctor says can be helpful, but with false negatives, he says it’s not the end all be all. Dr. Stanton says to distance from others, and to know your particular risk.

“Meaning are you vaccinated or not vaccinated, age, other co-morbidities,” Dr. Stanton says.

Dr. Stanton says if you go out and about, you need to get the shot.

“That is the best way to protect you and protect those around you. If not, you know just understand that you’re putting yourself and risk and you’re putting others at risk too,” Dr. Stanton says.

There’s some good news, according to experts. They say the surge of cases is increasing the number of people getting vaccinated. That’s even true in some of the counties where the vaccination rates are the lowest.

Railbird is requiring attendees either to be fully vaccinated or to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days before their first day of attending the festival.

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