Celebrating Independence Day the Healthy Way

The Department of Health asks all residents to be mindful of health concerns this 4th of July holiday, including COVID-19.

July 2, 2021 | 2 min reading time

This article is 2 years old. It was published on July 2, 2021.

As the City of St. Louis prepares to celebrate its first Fourth of July Holiday after last year's cancellation, there is new concern over the further spread of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, sparked by the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The City of St. Louis Department of Health asks all residents and visitors to be mindful as they enjoy the holiday weekend safely. 

If you plan to attend any of the holiday's festivities, including the annual downtown parade, fireworks under the Gateway Arch, or Fair St. Louis events at Ballpark Village, you are asked to wear a facial covering to protect yourself and others from spreading the virus. It would be best if you also considered frequently washing your hands to avoid spreading the virus. 

43.4% of city residents 12 and older and eligible to receive the vaccine have started the vaccination process. Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days (two weeks) following their last dose in the vaccine series, one dose for the Johnson & Johnson, and two doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. "If more residents receive the vaccine and continue to implement the prevention measures, we could slow the increased spread of COVID-19 due to the Delta variant before it inundates the city," says Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis

Other hazards come with the celebration of the Independence Day holiday. According to the Missouri State Fire Marshal's office in Missouri, 485 emergency room visits in 2020 were related to fireworks. Of those emergency room visits, 35 required further hospitalization. Firework injuries can include burns, contusions, lacerations, and possible amputations. All residents are asked to follow Ordinance #65824, which prohibits the use of fireworks without written approval by the city's Fire Marshal. 

The days surrounding the holiday can also be problematic for pet owners, with the loud noises and lights heightening anxiety in some pets. Bringing pets inside and closing the curtains minimizes the sound and light and reduces the chance the pet will flee the home in fear. Pet owners can also make sure the pet wears its identification and that its microchip information is up-to-date to prevent long-term separation. 

Following these simple steps discussed above can help the community celebrate the July 4th holiday safely and be prepared to enjoy the remainder of the summer in a healthy manner. 

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