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'We cannot take a break from practicing COVID-19 safety protocols' | Health experts discuss concerns with eased restrictions, spring break

Although coronavirus trends are going in the right direction, experts say we shouldn't take it for granted - or let our guard down.

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Between loosened restrictions for businesses, spring break for schools, and warmer weather - there's a lot to look forward to this weekend.

We are trending in a positive direction, but experts say we shouldn't take it for granted. They say social distancing is still important to avoid another surge in cases.

While we may be turning a corner seasonally, we're not quite there when it comes to the pandemic. 

"For us to truly turn the corner and leave this pandemic behind - we have to stay strong to the very end," said Governor Cooper in a press conference Tuesday.

Health experts on the national and local level want you to keep that in mind, with restrictions easing, and spring vacations in full swing. 

"What concerns me is the footage of what's happening in spring breakers - people who are not continuing to implement prevention strategies while we get fully scaled up," said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

"We cannot and must not take a break from practicing COVID-19 safety protocols," said Dr. Iulia Vann, Public Health Director for Guilford County, "Some people may have a plan to get up with friends and family and even travel over the break ,and I want to encourage you to still avoid large gatherings practice and the 3 Ws, maintain social distance and wear a mask."

They may feel like tired expressions to many, but Dr. Vann says, they're still some of our best tools so as not to backslide. 

"Please protect yourself and others during this time," she said, "We have made so much progress around lowering transmission rates in our community and getting people vaccinated that we do not want to see another spike like the one that we had seen during the winter holidays."

The CDC is still advising against travel, but if you head out, avoid crowds and get tested before and after your trip.