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Posted on: July 2, 2020

Public health precautions recommended for Independence Day celebrations

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. –Coconino County Health and Human Services recommends taking extra precautions when participating in Independence Day activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 “As friends and family gather over the July 4 holiday, we encourage everyone to continue to follow guidance and precautions to help to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19,” stated Dr. Marie Peoples, the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Coconino County. Physical distancing, wearing face masks as required by the County Proclamation, washing hands frequently and ample supplies of hand sanitizer, especially while handling food, are important methods to prevent the spread of illness.” 

 COVID-19 safety recommendations include: 

• Avoid close contact with others, avoid large groups.

 • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. 

• Wash hands frequently. 

• Cover coughs and sneezes.

 • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

 • Practice physical distancing while at social events. 

• Skip the celebratory events, if sick over the holiday. 

 In addition to precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illness, food safety guidelines should be followed while preparing holiday foods and barbecuing to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Health officials recommend:

• Perishable foods be refrigerated within 2 hours of purchase, if the temperature outside is 90°F or higher, food should be chilled within 1 hour. 

• While grilling or out on a picnic keep uncooked foods in a cooler. 

• To avoid cross contamination, keep meats separate from other perishables.

 • Cook foods to safe temperatures. Steaks – 145 degrees F, ground meat – 160 degrees F and poultry 165 degrees F. 

 • Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.

The COVID-19 testing site at Fort Tuthill County Park will be closed on Thursday, July 2 due to other scheduled park activities and on Friday, July 3 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. The COVID-19 Information Line will also be closed on Friday, July 3.  

 After the holiday weekend, testing will resume at Fort Tuthill on Monday, July 6 and will continue to be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell) and individuals that feel they have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to be tested. Waiting 5 to 8 days following exposure is recommended to obtain the most accurate results. 

Testing is provided on a first served basis. Everyone at the testing site is required to wear a mask or face covering. Testing is intended for Coconino County residents. 

For more information and resources on COVID-19 please visit www.coconino.az.gov/covid19 or call the County COVID-19 Information Line at 928.679.7300 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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