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Staying safe while celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day

File photo
File photo

St. Patrick’s Day is usually known for its big parades and parties, but this year’s festivities are sure to look a lot different due to COVID-19. So how can you stay safe while still having fun?

“Don’t treat this St. Patrick’s Day really any differently than any other major event of the past year from a precaution standpoint. We still just have to use common sense and everything comes back to the basics,” said Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, who is a pulmonary and critical care physician for the Cleveland Clinic.

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He said it’s easy to let your guard down while drinking, which is why people need to be extra careful with their surroundings. He advises against going into big crowds, especially with a lot of strangers. Masks and social distancing are also important.

Khabbaza suggests going to an outdoor venue instead or hanging out in a smaller group. He said if an entire group has been vaccinated, they don’t need to worry as much about masks.

“The CDC recently came out in support of that as well. I think with time, we’re starting to see and I’m sure we will continue to see that vaccinated people are very unlikely to transmit a virus at all. But as we’re learning that, we’re still recommending that vaccinated people still follow the precautions around most unvaccinated people,” he explained.

Khabbaza said if you do find yourself in a big crowd at some point on St. Patrick’s Day, be sure to stay away from vulnerable family members for at least ten days as to not risk spreading the virus.