Waterbury’s St. Mary’s Hospital issues Easter COVID safety tips

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Public Health recently issued a report saying Waterbury has the second-highest COVID-19 case rates in the state. That’s one reason doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital are dispensing advice before another big holiday weekend.

During this pandemic, many medical professionals have told us big holidays usually lead to big surges in COVID infections. Doctors at St. Mary’s are trying to avoid that with advice for all of us.

“We’re in a state where we still need to keep our guard up,” said Dr. Husnain Kermalli, Interim Chief Medical Officer at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Dr. Kermalli gave News 8 a series of Easter “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.

“If you’re going to get together, number one is you have to wear the mask,” he said. “Avoid getting really close.”

That means this Easter, no handshakes or Easter kisses with family that’s not in your immediate household.

“Elbow bumps are sort of what we’re doing these days,” he said. “Masks on unless you’re eating.”

The doctor is urging people not to have large gatherings at home on Easter Sunday.

“Connecticut has made a determination that inside gatherings within residences up to 25,” he said. “But, my recommendation would be to — given what we’re seeing in our population right now on this weekend and this week — I would limit that even further to ten or even six.”

“The coronavirus is still with us,” Dr. Kermalli said. “It’s still a problem.”

“A little bit of sacrifice goes a long way,” he said. “We want to have our loved ones here next year.”

Joyce Pettaway agrees. That’s why this Waterbury grandmother, who loves Easter, is keeping her front door closed this year.

“I just don’t want anybody in my home who is not used to being there,” she said. “I don’t want them bringing any bacteria, any dust, or anything in my home.”

Dr. Kermalli says if we continue to follow the safety mandates from the state and the CDC, next Easter could look a lot different.

“Waterbury continues to do a great job of getting vaccinations,” he said. “Connecticut is leading the way in the U.S. in vaccination rates as a whole. And we’ve got to keep going with that.”

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