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More caution ahead of Jan. 1

We urge area residents thinking about gathering to celebrate the New Year — understanding that most of us can’t wait until 2020 is over.

Yes, we are beating the drum of caution and safety again because with COVID-19, we are not out of the woods yet.

In many ways, COVID-19 is more dangerous than ever in most states.

Public health officials cautioned us all about large family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The surge of COVID-19 cases now is evidence many people paid no heed to the warnings. They went ahead with festivities of the type enjoyed for years — and the deadly virus was communicated to many members of their families.

More than 50,000 Americans have died of the disease just since Thanksgiving.

A milestone holiday that many people typically observe by gathering to celebrate and party is approaching.

Will you heed the warnings?

Or will you go ahead and get together with friends and family?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, of course.

Circumstances vary enormously from family to family.

For some, with no older people planning to be present, the danger may fall into the calculated risk category.

For others, with grandmothers and grandfathers in their 80s or older and in ill health, the hazard may be enormous.

Whatever ages and medical conditions are involved, we know there is some danger.

A significant percentage of the COVID-19 deaths in both our states have been of people younger than 60 years.

What you do for New Year’s has to be your decision.

We urge you to make it thoughtfully, realistically and with long-term compassion.

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