A warning for the holidays: The risk of getting Covid-19 in a crowded indoor setting is still very high, state health chief says

The novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is not so novel anymore, but it remains the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and will be a threat as families gather indoors on what is forecast to be a cold Thanksgiving weekend, says Kentucky’s public-health commissioner.

Dr. Steven Stack says Kentuckians should keep practicing what he calls “the golden rule”: If you’re sick, stay home. And remember that even if you are up to date on your vaccinations, the risk of getting Covid in a crowded indoor setting is still very high.

“Since we’re standing close in the shopping line now, if you have people over for parties, if you go to a restaurant and you sit in a packed restaurant. It’s loud where people are talking and laughing and having a good time,” Stack told Stu Johnson of WEKU. “If you do that stuff on and off over a week you should just assume you’re being exposed multiple times to Covid.”

The disease doesn’t carry near the impact it once did, because of vaccinations and immunity from past infections, but Stack said it still serious, “especially for the medically frail, with more than 40 deaths a week” in Kentucky, Johnson reports.

“For the very young, vaccine availability can be an issue. Stack said most pediatricians can’t afford to have a large inventory of the costly vaccine, since it has a relatively short shelf life.”

Stack said, “There have been some challenges for the youngest children because the only folks that would likely vaccinate really young children are pediatricians or clinics or doctors’ offices that routinely take care of children.” In such cases, Stack suggests a commercial retail pharmacy, health department, or university medical center. Covid vaccinations are suggested for babies at six months of age.

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