Experts say COVID-19 protection more important with flu season around the corner

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 22:24:20-04

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — It is really starting to feel like fall on a Friday night.

With more fall-like gatherings and festivals going on, health experts want you to start thinking about flu season.

On Friday, it's the first time the Jessamine Fall Festival was held in downtown Nicholasville since 2019.

"We are growing in Jessamine County," said Ann Nipp, the festival's director. "I think because we didn't have it last year and everyone has been shut in for a while, it's nice to get out."

Like so many events last year, it was canceled because of COVID-19.

"We've encouraged our vendors to bring hand sanitizer," Nipp says. "And all of our vendors are spaced out very, very well this year."

The Fall Festival of course is not the only outdoor activity. You have other fairs and festivals going on and 61,000 fans packing Kroger Field. It's another reminder from health officials not to get COVID fatigue.

"We want to go to the pumpkin patch, we look forward to trick or treating," said Christina King with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. "All of those outdoor activities every fall. We need to keep in mind that we are still in the middle of a pandemic -- a global pandemic."

With October around the corner, there is another thing to pay attention to — the start of flu season.

"The flu still puts people in the hospital," King says. "The flu can still kill people. Our hospitals are already overrun. We don't want to add to the COVID cases with flu cases."

"The hospitals are already full with COVID patients," she added. "And then you add flu patients to them. If you fall down and break your ankle, what are you going to do?"

As you plan the next fall outdoor activity, health officials have a message.

"If you're going to be in a very crowded area, even if it's outside, we would still recommend that you wear that mask still as an added layer of protection," King says.