MANHATTAN, N.Y. — Christmas may be 42 days away, but inside Macy’s, the holiday season was already in full swing.
But before you head outside and surround yourself with others, doctors want to remind tourists and residents around the region of something: COVID-19 is still a concern.
“As we gather for the holidays, in the winter, we’re careful with who we gather with and this is a great opportunity to talk with family and chat with co-workers to make sure they’re trying to fit under the umbrella as best as possible, of being vaccinated,” said Dr. Louis Morledge.
According to health experts, the vaccine is the best way to get ahead of COVID and the delta variant.
“Hospitalizations for the most part and deaths in the unvaccinated people, those are the people that will harbor the highest degree of virus and potentially be much more infectious than other people,” said Dr. Morledge.
Around the city, it’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays.
In Rockefeller Center Saturday, with a little help from NYPD officers, a mighty 79-foot tall spruce made a 145-mile trek from Maryland to Manhattan.
Health care worker Jessica Baulding, who’s visiting the city from Atlanta, offered up her advice.
“If you don’t have to be in a big crowd, try to avoid them,” she said.
Misty Rollins traveled from Utah to ring in the season of magic and lights, in the city that never sleeps.
“It’s cool to see the start of it and feel the experience of the city,” said tourist, Misty Rollins.
For the first time in two months, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in several parts of the country.
While overall hospitalizations and deaths are on the decline in the five boroughs, health officials say don’t let your guard down.
Rollins feels safest in New York, where pandemic regulations are taken very seriously.
“I felt so safe here, the mask requirements when you’re indoors is amazing,” said Rollins.
Health experts strongly recommend also getting the flu vaccine to avoid any complications from what’s being called a “twin-demic” — COVID-19 and the flu happening at the same time.