A new year is just around the corner, but Louisville leaders are cautioning against parties to usher in 2021.
Louisville’s Department of Public Health and Wellness medical director Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage said Tuesday that New Year’s Eve parties “would be a great opportunity for a super spread event.”
The city is actively going to bars and clubs to make sure they will stop service at 11 p.m. and close at midnight, said Nicholas Hart, Louisville environmental health manager.
“We received a number of other notifications concerning parties catered towards the youth,” Hart said, “Specifically sleepovers at host facilities such as recreational gyms or gymnastic areas or childcare. We are reaching out to them to ensure that they know that they will need to follow those childcare precautions that are listed in the childcare healthy at work guidance and guidelines.”
That guidance includes:
- Enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet
- Wear face coverings
- Provide adequate hand sanitizer and encourage hand washing
- Ensure proper sanitation
- Conduct daily temperature/health checks
Louisville remains in the red zone for coronavirus cases with 46.5 cases per 100,000, far surpassing the 25 per 100,000 needed to be in the red zone. The city has suffered a total of 639 deaths, 19 of which were reported last week.
“The safest way to celebrate is to do it at home with the people you live with,” Hartlage said.
Still, she shared some guidance for those who plan to see others.
If a person travels to see a relative, Hartlage said, they should quarantine before and after the visit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises checking the local quarantine guidance at your destination.
Kentucky guidance advises against any leisure travel out of the state and asks anyone who does travel out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.
Hartlage said people should get tested before and after visits.
“Anyone (who) has symptoms, we recommend that you consider canceling,” she added, “because that outing can quickly turn into a situation with significant spread.”
Louisville has a slew of testing options including from University of Louisville, Norton, Baptist hospitals and other community sites.
There are 357 testing locations around the state, according to Kentucky’s official pandemic site, kycovid.ky.gov.
Hartlage and the state say the safest New Year’s celebrations include:
- Staying home with those you live with
- Having a virtual party
- Watching livestreams of fireworks or concerts
- Make sure any gathering is outdoors
- Gatherings should not include more than eight people from a maximum of two households.
As always, Hartlage said, people should wear their masks, wash hands often and “thoroughly” social distance.
Good riddance, 2020: Here are 12 concerts to help you (virtually) celebrate New Year’s Eve
“I know with the Christmas holiday and the New Year Day coming up there is a strong desire to celebrate with family and friends,” Mayor Greg Fischer said Tuesday, “but also another strong recognition that now’s not the time to do that if we wanted to defeat this virus.”
Reach news reporter Sarah Ladd at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah.