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Missoula health officials issue New Year’s Eve reminder

Missoula City-County Health Department
Posted at 3:20 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 17:20:04-05

MISSOULA — The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) is reminding everyone that unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic will not disappear when the clock strikes midnight.

MCCHD notes that after other large holidays we have seen a spike in cases.

A few things you can do to prevent that on New Year’s Eve -- besides the obvious mask-wearing and distancing -- is to avoid crowding near food or in the kitchen if you will be celebrating inside.

Incident Commander Cindy Farr says even though people are starting to get vaccinated, we are nowhere near herd immunity. So, she says keep group gatherings down to two households, and go outside if you can.

Farr says another thing people can do -- on top of avoiding large gatherings -- is to watch your alcohol intake.

“Drink responsibly. I know New Year’s Eve is typically an evening when people do like to indulge,” Farr said. “When people become too intoxicated, they can tend to forget to keep their distance, keep their mask on, all those other important prevention measures.”

Farr says MCCHD is expecting to see a spike in cases in the New Year, following a decline in testing around the holidays.

She also told MTN News that she doesn’t know when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the general public, as they’re still working through the first phase of doses in the hospitals.