Labor Day = Labor of Love
Posted on 09/03/2020

A summer unlike any other in generations is drawing to a close.

As we look back, Memorial Day weekend saw barbeques, parties, sporting events, and gatherings large and small. And our case counts skyrocketed. We kept asking if we had hit our peak and looked for the curve to start to flatten. But the peak was nowhere to be seen. July brought Independence Day and people continued to celebrate and gather despite the cancellation of community events. Our case counts continued to climb.

But we responded. We started wearing masks more. We renewed our efforts to maintain a safe six feet of distance and limit unnecessary trips. We limited our time with people outside the household and focused on efforts to protect the vulnerable and expand our open activities.

Now we see signs of hope as new cases decline. Residents of Benton and Franklin Counties came together to take the steps necessary to limit the disease spread and be an example in Washington as to what we can accomplish when we work together. And we’ve been able to open more businesses and add activities.

These small actions to protect ourselves and one another are labors of love. Now that we find ourselves on the cusp of another holiday, each of us must continue to do our part. Labor Day celebrations and the approach of fall are not times to become complacent and allow all of our hard work to be for naught. We’re doing things right.

  • More people are wearing masks.
  • We are making fewer unnecessary trips out.
  • People are staying home when they are sick.
  • We are hand washing and sanitizing surfaces like never before.
  • People are getting tested when they experience symptoms and following our guidance if they need to isolate or quarantine.

All of your efforts are helping to bring COVID-19 cases down.

So, we have much to celebrate this long weekend.

The approach of flu season is not something we look forward to. But great news! All the steps we take to help limit the spread of COVID-19 also work well against the flu.

In our fight against the flu, our defenses will get a literal shot in the arm. As fall approaches, plan to get your flu vaccination, which is more important now than ever with the looming threat of COVID-19. We don’t want people with seasonal flu or COVID-19 or both to fill up our hospitals.

So as you celebrate this weekend, please continue to do so safely. Watch our Facebook  and Twitter feeds for updated information. We will be offering tips for how to safely celebrate the season. Do it differently this year. Skip the parties and do something for your neighbors, your community, or yourself.

Put in some work for a safer celebration.

The quickest way to drive COVID-19 case numbers back up is to let down our guard. Keep up these efforts to drive down our disease rates:

  • Keep gatherings small—Limit your social interactions to five or fewer people per week.
  • Stay outside if possible. The fresh, open air circulates better outside than inside.
  • Wear a mask. Don’t half mask it or be a mask-hat.
  • Maintain a safe six feet of physical distance.
  • Stay close to home.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms. Wash your hands, cover your cough, and keep up your best hygiene and sanitation.

One fun night can become a weeks-long nightmare.

COVID-19 still very active in both Benton and Franklin counties. Many patients report recovery can take months.

Our contact tracers spend every day talking to people who are positive with COVID-19 or exposed to a positive case. Sometimes it’s one or two people in a business. Other times it’s more people at a party. Anyone you meet could spread the disease and not know it.

You don’t want to be the reason your friends or family get sick. You don’t want your workplace shutting down because you got sick.

Keep up the good work.

You don’t have to sit on the couch by yourself on Labor Day. Benton and Franklin Counties Modified Phase 1 Safe Start plan allows you to choose five friends or family members outside the household you would like to see regularly outside. Plan to celebrate with that group.

We will get through this stronger together. Let’s continue this labor of love to bring down COVID-19 cases even further.

Adapted from Tacoma-Pierce Public Health