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Health leaders plead with community to celebrate the new year at home

Health officials say even if you plan to wear a mask, now is not the time to get together with a large group of people.
Credit: WZDX

HUNTSVILLE, Ala — If you are thinking about getting together with friends or family to ring in the new year, health leaders are asking you to reconsider.

Alabama is still seeing the biggest COVID-19 surge yet. If you want to be healthy going into 2021, it's probably best to celebrate the new year at home.

Huntsville Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Ali Hassoun, says even if you plan to wear a mask, now is not the time to get together with a large group of people.

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"Masks can help, and it's always advisable to wear a mask, but if you're in an enclosed space for a long time with poor ventilation, unfortunately, even with masks, there's a high chance of transmission of infection,” said Dr. Hassoun.

Dr. Hassoun says the most common way to get and spread the virus is at indoor events where there is close contact. COVID-19 can be more easily spread at big events where people are shouting and dancing.

Even if you're young and healthy, you can get the virus at a large gathering and spread it to people at a high-risk.

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With more vaccines being rolled out, people are hopeful things will get back to normal, but Dr. Hassoun says we are not there yet.

“All of us have been tired of this and fatigued, but with the vaccine coming out, we need to be a little bit more patient,” said Dr. Hassoun.

Dr. Hassoun says if we want to enjoy large gatherings again in 2021, everyone needs to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

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