Family wearing masks takes a selfie together outside surrounded by American flags for the Fourth of July

Thursday, June 25, 2020

With Fourth of July coming up and COVID-19 cases on the rise in Oklahoma, it is important to remember not only firework safety, but how to stay safe and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 1,728 new cases of COVID-19 in its Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report for June 12-18, a 140.3% increase over the previous week. Cleveland County alone has had 711 confirmed cases and 40 deaths.

There was also a spike in cases after Memorial Day weekend, leading some to be concerned about Fourth of July.

Emergency Medicine Physician Patrick Cody, DO, said it is important to maintain COVID-19 safety precautions during holiday celebrations.

“COVID is definitely in the community. Consider social distancing and wearing masks, especially if celebrating with people outside your usual family unit,” he said.

Along with social distancing and wearing a mask, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please also remember:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill or experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or the loss of smell, taste or appetite.

Fireworks Safety

The Fourth of July and firework celebrations can also be dangerous on their own, with an average of 180 people going to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Dr. Cody gave some simple, “common sense” firework safety tips:

  1. Children shouldn’t be allowed to light them. They need close supervision so they don’t get too close to a firework that has been lit.

“Firework injuries can be devastating, but can be even worse for a child due to their small size,” Dr. Cody said.

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Dr. Cody said, “Any activity involving a firework that starts with the phrase ‘Hey! Watch this!’ is an accident looking for a place to happen.”

  1. Alcohol and fireworks are a bad combination.
  2. Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.

Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a day to have fun and celebrate freedom. We hope you all enjoy a fun and safe Fourth of July weekend, packed with fireworks, food, family, friends, masks and social distancing.


About Norman Regional Health System

Norman Regional Health System (NRHS) is a multi-campus system that provides for the health and wellness needs of our regional communities throughout south central Oklahoma. NRHS is operated by Norman Regional Hospital Authority, a public trust, which serves the public interests and functions as a political subdivision of the State of Oklahoma. Norman Regional Health System provides hospital, emergency room, outpatient diagnostic centers, medical transport services, physician services, centers of excellence, durable medical equipment supplies, a primary care network, community wellness services and employer health services. Norman Regional Health System brings wellness and health together under one system that provides everything from diabetes-management classes to open heart surgery. Ultimately, we want to get you back on your feet and keep you there, with evidence-based care that continuously strives toward better quality, higher satisfaction and lower