RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As cases of flu, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) continue to circulate throughout Virginia, local and statewide health professionals are issuing a warning — people may be spreading more than holiday cheer this Thanksgiving.
Mark and Carisma Nabor are eager to introduce their baby to their extended family, but they want to do so safely.
“I would say it’s definitely something that’s been in the forefront of our minds,” Nabor said. “Our 6-month-old daughter has flu vaccine and we both got vaccinated so hopefully that will help us.” Mark added.
Another couple, Richard and Alice Adkins, looks forward to reuniting with their large family for the holiday.
“Big holiday at the house, she’s the host,” Richard Adkins said. “WE are the hosts,” Alice corrected.
The couple said they have received all necessary booster shots to provide them with as much protection as possible against the illnesses spreading around the state.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia hospitals are treating an average of around 486 inpatients a day. The department also confirmed most Virginia counties now fall under the “low transmission” risk category for the spread of COVID-19. However, cases of flu continue to increase. Doctors emphasized the importance of vaccination in mitigating the extent of concern from a public health standpoint.
“I’m vaccinated,” Kaitlin Weigle, who’s back in Richmond visiting her family for Thanksgiving, said. “[I’m] Flu vaccinated, COVID vaccinated, all the vaccinations. I’m paying attention more to health and awareness.”
In addition to vaccination, doctors suggest washing your hands, masking-up when surrounded by large groups of people, symptom monitoring, and getting tested for viruses like COVID-19 or flu in order to protect those you love the most, so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.
8News asked people what the holidays mean to them.
“Holidays mean family,” Weigle said “They mean love and support and I’m just excited to be here.”
The Nabor’s can’t wait to show off their newest family member.
“[Extended family members] get to meet [their baby] for the first time,” the Nabor’s shared.
The Adkins said hosting their large family will all be worth it.
“All the joy and pleasantry come out, that’s what we’re looking for,” Richard Adkins said.