Yakima Health District encourages safer Mother’s Day gatherings

Small, outdoor gatherings mean less risk, health officials say

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — Yakima Health District officials are asking residents to be careful during Mother’s Day gatherings to avoid a potential surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“It’ll be for your safety, for the safety of all your family, your loved ones and those that surround you,” said Stephanie Badillo-Sanchez, Communications Specialist with the Yakima Health District.

Badillo-Sanchez said while cases and hospitalization are currently on a downturn in Yakima County, if people don’t follow public health recommendations during upcoming festivities, the county could experience another setback.

Currently, public health recommendations are that fully vaccinated people can gather in small groups with other fully vaccinated people without wearing face masks or social distancing.

“You are considered to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after you received your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” Badillo-Sanchez said. “If you got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, that one only requires a single dose, so you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after that single dose.”

However, vaccinated people still need to follow public health recommendations in public settings like grocery stores, in larger groups and around people who haven’t been vaccinated.

“Even if you are vaccinated, you should still continue to wear a mask and physically distance when you’re in those kind of settings and also avoid medium or large gatherings,” Badillo-Sanchez said.

Health officials said if the county can avoid a rise in cases, the next time they come under state evaluation to determine what reopening phase they should be in, the county should be able to stay more open.

“It’s very important that we remain gathering safely in small groups, outside,” Badillo-Sanchez said. “And get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

More information on where to get vaccinated in Yakima County can be found at yakimavaccines.org.

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