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Kentucky public health officials encourage people to stay safe at holiday gatherings

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Flu, RSV and COVID cases are widespread in central and eastern Kentucky as people get ready to gather for Thanksgiving. Health officials are warning people to take precautions over the holidays.

Scott Lockard is Public Health Director for Kentucky River District Health Department, covering Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe counties.

Lockard said gathering at this time of year is important to good mental health and wellbeing.

“That we do get together with family and friends, that we spend quality time together. So we’re not telling people not to get together, we’re just telling people to get together in a smart way. If you’re sick, stay home and don’t take that in on the family gathering,” said Lockard.

The health department official added that vaccination is the best protection.

“We have vaccines for influenza, it’s a quadrivalent vaccine. The strains of influenza this year is an H1N1, H3N2, and then the B strains are of a Victoria and Yamagata lineage. So, it’s very important that everyone take that quadrivalent vaccine,” said Lockard.

Lockard said to practice good oral and hand hygiene, sneeze and cough into tissue or a sleeve, to help limit the spread of viruses.

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Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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