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Heading to the beach or pool for Labor Day weekend? Doctors give COVID-19 safety tips

Public health officials are concerned about "COVID fatigue" and people letting their guards down during the holiday that could lead to a rise in cases.

HOUSTON — As Texas shows improvement in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, public health officials are urging people to keep up their healthy habits, especially when celebrating the holiday weekend with friends or family.

After Memorial Day weekend, Texas saw a spike in new coronavirus cases, and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner warned people that in order to return to school in-person and re-open the economy fully, people would need to avoid creating a new rise in cases.

Human behavior largely determines the spread of the virus, according to UTHealth's Luis Ostrosky, MD, an infectious disease doctor.

Dr. Ostrosky said people should limit the size of any parties or gatherings. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo put a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

“The more people, the higher risk," Dr. Ostrosky said.

Texas' Department of State Health Services issued a renewed warning in addition to the "Big 3" healthy habits: avoid sharing objects.

Objects like sports balls, toys or cooking utensils getting passed from one person to another can potentially transmit the virus if people do not sanitize the objects and wash their own hands after each contact with the item.

He also urged people should treat family and friends the same as strangers when it comes to healthy habits: practice social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask, even if it gets hot or socially awkward.

“We have a lot of people dying from this. We have families destroyed. We have situations where a family member can’t say goodbye to their loved ones because they’re in an isolation environment. It’s sad. It’s really powerful," Dr. Ostrosky said.