Memorial Day weekend COVID precautions to consider

As vaccinations continue to climb, things are beginning to feel a lot like the pre-pandemic days. Health experts say it is once again safe to get together with family and friends for the Memorial Day weekend.

Officials say people should take three things into account before heading to a gathering.

Undoubtedly, weddings, reunions and barbeques are much safer this Memorial Day weekend than they were in 2020 or even a few weeks earlier.

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Before deciding whether to attend a gathering, health experts urge people to consider their own and others' vaccination status; where the event will be located; and if people will be wearing masks.

With 50% of adults across Wisconsin and the U.S. now fully vaccinated from COVID-19, families and friends are hitting the road and flying the skies to get together for the Memorial Day weekend.

"This is my first time since being vaccinated that I'm flying, so I'm pretty excited," said Daren Marienthal.

"We haven't done our family reunion, and we didn't do it at all last year, so this is a reunion of the reunion, reimagine of the reunion, so we're excited to do that," Heather Godfrey said.

Coronavirus cases are also the lowest they've been since June 2020. But despite the positive trends, health experts caution that many gatherings still carry some risk.

"If the event is all vaccinated people, or if you’ll only be outdoors in open air, you’re likely quite safe to unmask," said Dr. Ben Weston with the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. "Now if that’s not the case, if you’re not fully vaccinated, if you have young children that can’t be vaccinated, if the group is mixed – vaccinated and unvaccinated – and if you have to be indoors, masking is still going to be your safest option."

Bradford Beach

A reminder to enjoy the long-awaited time spent with loved ones while not forgetting the hard work it took to get to this point.

"The progress we’ve made is incredible. And there’s still more to go. So this Memorial Day, we can celebrate that progress and gather safely," Weston said.

"Take all the moments that you can. You don't know how many moments we have," said Godfrey.

Local ordinances or event space policies continue to take precedence.

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With more people vaccinated and venturing out, this Memorial Day weekend may feel different than it did in 2020.