*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
July 1, 2021
Health Officials Encourage Safe July 4th Celebrations and Summertime Gatherings
Choose behaviors that support positive mental and physical health
OKANOGAN – As our community celebrates the Fourth of July holiday and the opening of Washington state, health officials encourage residents to take part in activities that support positive mental and physical health. The Fourth of July weekend is the first time many residents may encounter large groups of people since the pandemic began. Feelings, beliefs, and emotions can impact behaviors and may lead to impulsive decision making and the desire to engage in risky activities.
As people gather together and encounter crowds, Public Health reminds the community that COVID-19 continues to spread through gatherings of unvaccinated individuals who are not taking COVID-19 precautions, such as masking and physically distancing. Please follow public health recommendations and make choices to keep yourself and your community safe.
“On the July 4th holiday, we celebrate the founding of our country based on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Okanogan County Health Officer Dr. Jim Wallace. “We want to preserve life and we want everyone to pursue happiness. Liberty compels us to live freely to the extent that our actions do not adversely impact others’ life and pursuit of happiness.”
County residents have different beliefs about the pandemic, timing of the state’s reopening, vaccine confidence, and masking requirements. It is likely that some strongly held beliefs may conflict with different beliefs held by others, and that comfort levels around masking and gatherings will differ. As we enter the holiday weekend and plan for other summertime gatherings, behavior choices that support positive mental and physical health for all members of the community are encouraged.
“We want people to enjoy themselves this holiday weekend, but also take care of themselves, their families and neighbors,” said Dr. Wallace. “Please ensure your choice of celebration does not put others at risk.”
For helplines and resources to support mental and emotional well-being, visit: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/mental-and-emotional-well-being