Protect friends and communities by staying safe this Labor Day weekend 

For many people, Labor Day is a final opportunity to celebrate summer. Barbecues, gatherings with our friends, and last chance summer travels fill our plans. Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic means this holiday weekend will need to look different.  

You may have already made plans for the Labor Day weekend before Oregon saw cases and hospitalizations surge. If your plans involve outdoor large gatherings or indoor activities that put you and others at risk for COVID-19, it’s important to reconsider what you have planned.  

Playing it safe is the best choice right now. Here’s why: 

  • The Delta variant is highly transmissible and is spreading rapidly, especially in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates.   
  • Oregon hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and may not have enough space for emergencies.  

There just may not be space for a broken leg or food poisoning this year, so even if you’re taking precautions to avoid COVID-19 transmission, avoiding other risky behavior is also an important way to support our hospital system in this time of crisis.   

While we’ve grown tired of having to limit our activities, it’s worth it to protect our loved ones and others in our communities. Staying close to home, spending time with members of our household, avoiding crowds and wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoors when we can’t maintain six feet of physical distance can help end this surge.  

Playing it safe this long weekend is the best choice to protect yourself, your household and your community. Listen to State Health Officer Dean Sidelinger explain why:

Remember, getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way for all people in Oregon to get back to doing the things they love. If you are 12 or older, visit OHA’s Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon webpage to schedule your vaccine appointment today.  

This article first appeared in the Sept. 2, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.