Health Officer fears risks of COVID spread at upcoming parties, gatherings


Vestavia Hills, Ala. (WIAT) — Health experts are warning people to continue avoiding large crowds and gatherings as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

One event drawing attention from the Jefferson County Health Department is a holiday party planned for 8th graders at Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia Hills.

The party is scheduled for Saturday, December 5, and will be held at the Vestavia Country Club.

The event isn’t school sponsored; a FaceBook group was put together to organize the party. More than 170 are part of the group.

The group posted some rules about the party on Tuesday: Masks will be worn at all times, temperature checks at the door, and sanitizer at all tables.

Doors will also be open to the ballroom to allow better airflow.

Dr. Mark Wilson with the Jefferson County Health Department still thinks having any sort of large gathering can still be dangerous.

“I’m sorry, but now is not a good time and it’s dangerous right now,” Dr. Wilson said.

Dr. Wilson says a lot of young adults, including middle schoolers, can easily spread the virus around, citing large gatherings as part of the cause for the recent rise in COVID cases.

“I know that a lot of people are really tired of this. People are tired of hearing me talk about it, but now is just not a good time to let our guard down,” Dr. Wilson said.

He says students getting the virus from events can impact how schools function.

“It has resulted in an outbreak among many students. And as a result, many more students and sometimes teachers get quarantined. And it threatens a school’s ability to stay open,” Dr. Wilson said.

CBS 42 reached out to the organizers of the Facebook group and party on the party and are still waiting for a response.

Dr. Wilson says he would like to discuss more safety precautions with the group to ensure everyone is happy and safe.

“You know, you could do something that is outdoors, socially distanced. It’s still fun. It still helps you get connections,” Dr. Wilson.

CBS 42 is still waiting for a comment from management for Vestavia Country Club and from the Vestavia Hills School system.

Dr. Wilson says he plans to talk to the club about Saturday’s dance.

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