Navigating local events with the new delta variant

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With cases on the rise, we’re starting to see COVID disrupt everyday life again.

Our hospitals are already restricting their visitor policies.

Now larger events on both sides of the Savannah River are getting canceled for safety concerns.

So can we avoid the cancellations while still staying safe?

Local experts say the best thing that you can do is wear a mask, especially at indoor events, and for our local Ronald McDonald House, this recommendation led them to postpone their biggest fundraising event.

“The numbers are going up, it’s getting more dangerous, it is getting real, it’s getting real real here in Augusta,” said Betts Murdison, president and CEO of RMH Augusta. “And I could just not put our community at risk I couldn’t put our families at risk we had to do the right thing and we had to postpone.”

Wine, Women, and Shoes raise around $100,000 every year for the Ronald McDonald House of Augusta. About 420 people go into this event.

“It is an event that brings us together socially it’s an event where we are meant to hug and kiss and chat and have a good time,” said Murdison.

But this year, that’s just not possible.

“People don’t want to hear it we all want to be back to no masks. Unfortunately, the delta variant has thrown a wrench in that so the reality is not yet,” said Dr. Valera Hudson, pediatrician in chief of Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

According to the CDC, the number of ICU beds used in Richmond County has doubled in the past week, our 16 percent positivity rate, high transmission rate and low vaccination rate leaves room for a lot of risk during events like these.

“And they want to do their part to message to the community that we’re in a different situation now than we were even a month ago,” said Hudson.

A situation that looks like what health care workers saw in January and February and so the big recommendation is to wear a mask at indoor events. Vaccinated or not and even at outdoor events do your best to socially distance.

“What we hope and want is for the community to partner with us to try to get this under control,” said Dr. Hudson.

Murdison said she’s proud to be apart of an organization that puts their mission above making money. The Wine, Women and Shoes event is rescheduled for March 6.

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