Have a Happy, Healthy Independence Day

By: Karen Thompson, Enterprise Communications

The July 4 holiday weekend will probably be different this year for many people. Many fireworks displays and other festive gatherings have been canceled due to a resurgence of COVID-19.

Recent data shows a sharp increase in the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in several areas of the country—including Florida, where the largest numbers of GuideWell team members reside. This surge has led some cities in Florida and other states where we do business to reverse some of the previous reopening actions and mandate face masks.

If you’re still planning to get out and be active, please take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Face Masks

It’s important to be aware of the requirements for face masks in your area and abide by any mandates. This week, Jacksonville joined a growing number of cities in Florida and other states to mandate that face masks be worn while in public spaces.

Regardless of whether your city mandates face masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth face masks in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Personal Travel

The summer season is traditionally a time for taking vacations with friends and family. Unfortunately, travel increases the probability of becoming infected with and spreading COVID-19, according to the CDC. Therefore, avoiding travel is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick—an especially important consideration for those at increased risk of severe illness.

If you make the decision to travel for the July 4 holiday or any other time this summer, please refer to the CDC's guidance for travel, including the organization’s considerations for travel in the United States. There you'll find important information about air travel, hotel stays and public transportation.

Also, please continue to take standard precautions daily to avoid being exposed to COVID-19:

• Practicing social distancing by staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings of more than 10 people and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others.

• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a lined trash can.

• Wearing a cloth mask that covers your mouth and nose in public and in situations where social distancing is not possible.

• Where possible, clean high touch surfaces often.

For more personal travel and safety tips visit:

CDC Travel Advisory page

American Heart Association’s How to have a safe Independence Day amid COVID-19 page.


Collectively, we’ve sacrificed at lot over the last few months and the desire to return to a normal routine is tempting. But given the recent spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in many of the areas where we live and work, we must all remain vigilant in taking the necessary precautions to help protect ourselves, our families and our communities from this pandemic. Whether you choose to hit the open road or have a staycation at home, enjoy the long weekend. Stay safe, celebrate responsibly and ENJOY!