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Memorial Day, observed on Monday, May 25, is a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
This year, Coconino County Health and Human Services recommends taking extra precautions when participating in Memorial Day activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the Memorial Day weekend, it is likely that friends and family will be gathering,” stated Dr. Marie Peoples, the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Coconino County. “While enjoying friends and family, we encourage people to continue to follow guidance and precautions to help to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. This means social distancing while visiting, wearing face masks to protect each other, ample supplies of hand sanitizer especially while handling food, and frequent washing of hands.”
COVID-19 safety recommendations include:
• Avoid close contact with others, avoid large groups.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
• Wash hands frequently.
• Cover coughs and sneezes.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
• Practice physical distancing while at social events.
• Skip the celebratory events, if sick over the holiday.
In addition to precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illness, food safety guidelines should be followed while preparing holiday foods and barbecuing to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Health officials recommend:
• Perishable foods be refrigerated within 2 hours of purchase, if the temperature outside is 90°F or higher, food should be chilled within 1 hour.
• While grilling or out on a picnic keep uncooked foods in a cooler.
• To avoid cross contamination, keep meats separate from other perishables.
• Cook foods to safe temperatures. Steaks – 145 degrees F, ground meat – 160 degrees F and poultry 165 degrees F.
• Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
The COVID-19 testing site at Fort Tuthill County Park will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. The COVID-19 Information Line will also be closed. After the holiday weekend, testing will resume at Fort Tuthill on Tuesday, May 26 and will continue to be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those with COVID-19 symptoms or a medical order.
The County will continue the Testing Blitz event on Saturday, May 30 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the County Health and Human Services building, 2625 N. King Street in Flagstaff. Essential workers, individuals exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and individuals that feel they have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to be tested at the Testing Blitz event.
For more information and resources on COVID-19 please visit www.coconino.az.gov/covid19 or call the County COVID-19 Information Line at 928.679.7300 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.