Staying safe on the Fourth of July

Fourth of July parade
Fourth of July parade(Tyler Markle)
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 12:07 PM EDT
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Saturday is Independence Day, a day of celebration; but it’s important when you’re having fun, to do so responsibly. You can have a safe, enjoyable holiday, even amid COVID-19.

This will be a Fourth of July unlike any other. Many celebrations have been canceled, but people will still be outside. UP Health System Marquette says it's important to remember when you are celebrating, to continue following COVID-19 guidelines.

“So masks we would recommend if people can’t socially distance outside, if you can’t be greater than six feet apart for people, certainly we’d want you to wear a mask,” said Dr. Shawn Brown, emergency physician at UPHS-Marquette. “You should definitely wear a mask if you’re going to be indoors.”

However, with the temperature in the 90's and the heat index high, wearing a mask too long, could be dangerous.

“It’s heat trapping, it’s going to make you feel a little bit claustrophobic to wear something like that, and as moisture accumulates inside the mask, it can be a little more difficult, subjectively, for some people to breathe,” said Dr. Brown.

That's why it's important to remember proper social distancing. Same goes when you're at the beach. COVID-19 hasn't been known to be transmittable through the water, but keeping your distance from others still applies.

“We certainly wouldn’t want someone to wear a typical fabric face covering while in the water, getting those masks wet can make them more difficult to breathe through and that could post a health risk to yourself,” said Dr. Brown.

Of course, the usual dangers of the fourth should still be remembered. This is one of the busiest nights of the year for emergency rooms and that's mostly due to alcohol consumption.

“Fireworks and alcohol are never a good combination,” said Dr. Brown. “We would ask that someone who is sober be in charge of all of the incendiaries.”

Even if you're not doing anything dangerous under the influence, a long day of drinking in the sun and heat could be harmful to your body.

"You're not replenishing your body with alcohol, you have to be responsible and moderate, everything in moderation of course. the refreshment tastes good at the time, but make sure you're dumping in electrolytes, and make sure you're dumping in water to prevent heat stroke, and other problems," said Captain Mike Laurila of the Marquette City Police Department.

So be sure to be safe, and respectful of other’s boundaries this holiday weekend, and have some fun.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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