Health Experts Urge COVID-19 Safety Amid Increased Holiday Activity

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While businesses are open and welcome increased holiday foot traffic, health officials have urged consumers to keep their guards up.

A year ago, the manager at BrainDead Brewing in Deep Ellum, Thomas Little, said he was unsure whether entertainment districts would bounce back.

“There was a point last year when we thought we were closing. We ended up not, we made it through but obviously, there was an uncertainty,” he said.

Over the last 18 months, all around him, Little noticed North Texas businesses forced to make tough decisions. This Labor Day though, he’s breathing a sigh of relief

“A lot of people are very anxious to be able to do this,” he said. “Now that the vaccines have rolled out and things appear to be a little bit safer, people are happy to be here."

The change in social behaviors can be seen across industries, including airlines. Travel is a good indicator of how much has changed since this time last year.

Official numbers from TSA showed on Sept. 4, 2020, that 664,640 travelers checked through its system. On the same day this year: 1.5 million travelers.

Still, UT Southwestern Medical Center warns the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in North Texas is expected to increase over the next several weeks.

While there is more adherence to masking, models show hospitalizations are elevated for all age groups.

Little said even with the excitement of the long weekend, as the manager of a popular spot in Deep Ellum, he’ll continue to do his part to enforce safety measures.

“I think we’ve all taken a little bit more ownership here just trying to make everything work,” he said.

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