Commentary: Area mayors say ‘Spread cheer this holiday season, not COVID-19’

Mayors of several cities in Tarrant County released the following message:

As we enter the holiday season, it’s becoming all too apparent that this year will end like no other in our lifetimes. As predicted, the fall surge in COVID-19 cases is now upon us, making family get-togethers and holiday gatherings a great public health concern. By now, many of us have been personally impacted by the disease, and we know COVID-19 is nothing to take lightly.

As hard as we know it will be, we strongly encourage everyone to take great caution and consider limiting your contact with family members and others according to CDC recommendations. We’ve been here before, and we were strong together, bringing down the numbers that peaked during the summer. With several vaccines on the way, we are in the homestretch of this terrible pandemic, and we simply need to continue taking the precautions that will keep us safe until we’re all able to be vaccinated.

Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing (six feet is a good measure, preferably outdoors) are the most effective ways to minimize the risk for infection. Researchers have found substantially lower infection rates in areas that observed mask mandates than those that did not. Even a simple cloth mask provides significant protection against coronavirus, scientists have found, reducing the spread of respiratory droplets by as much as 77%.

Because of your diligence this summer, the Tarrant County economy has recovered beyond anything we could have imagined during the spring stay at home orders. Robert Kaplan, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, said earlier this year that wearing masks would be the quickest way to get the economy back on track, and we’ve seen this firsthand up to this point. However, with numbers exponentially increasing over the past couple of weeks, we’ve got to come together as a community and “mask up” to save lives, help our frontline healthcare workers, and keep our economy moving in the right direction.

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There is no question – everyone wants to get back to spending time with family and doing the things we love to do. While this holiday season will be tough, we know better times are coming soon. Make the right decisions. Be COVID-19 conscious no matter where you are. Stay home if sick, wear a mask when around others, observe social distancing, practice proper hygiene, and have a plan to keep yourself and others well. Let’s spread cheer this holiday season, instead of COVID-19. We’ve encouraged you before and we’re encouraging you again. Y’all wear a mask!

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Mayor Betsy Price

Jeff Williams, Mayor of Arlington 

Linda Martin, Mayor of Euless 

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Bob Golden, Mayor of Haslet

Pat McGrail, Mayor of Keller

Oscar Trevino, Mayor of North Richland Hills 

Laura Hill, Mayor of Southlake 

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