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Lowcountry medical experts advise on COVID safety during Beaufort Water Festival

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 3:39 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - The Beaufort Water Festival is gearing up for its return this week. With the Delta variant of COVID-19 causing spikes in cases across the country, organizers say they’re working to make sure the huge event makes a successful and safe comeback.

Beginning on Friday, thousands of people are expected to flood the streets of Beaufort. The Lowcountry’s medical experts are emphasizing the differences in how vaccinated and unvaccinated people should participate in this year’s festival.

“If you’re vaccinated your risk according to the CDC remains low, even with the Delta variant out there. If you’re not vaccinated we hope people will continue to follow CDC precautions about avoiding large crowds, especially if their unmasked,” said Dr. Kurt Gambla, Chief Medical Officer of Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Gambla believes that the Water Festival’s setting will be helpful in minimizing the spread of the virus.

“The good news is it’s outside, so I think there will be adequate opportunity for people to socially distance,” he said.

The festival’s Commodore Erin “Tank” Morris says they are prioritizing safety while planning the 10-day event.

“We’ve been in constant communication with the city, the city manager, as well as the mayor and city council. Anything that they have set forth as far as any city regulations, we’ve been able to adhere to,” said Morris.

Multiple people involved have told me volunteers at the festival have been trained to help crowds follow CDC guidelines, while allowing everyone to have a good time.

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