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North Texas Doctors Urging Residents To Avoid Large Crowds July 4th Weekend

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - With positive virus cases still rising, hospitals are looking ahead to the holiday weekend and are urging people to avoid large celebrations where the virus could get a foothold in crowds.

The positive patient count at JPS Hospital in Fort Worth climbed to 87 Wednesday. There is still plenty of bed space, according to emergency department Dr. Heidi Knowles, but the potential for spread through holiday crowds is a concern.

"We don't want to cancel the Fourth of July," she said. "That's a huge holiday for all of us, especially right now. But we can't ignore that corona virus is here, and we have to make sure that this Fourth of July looks a little bit different than it has in the past."

While many large festivals have been canceled for Saturday, a number of fireworks shows are going on as planned, including in Fort Worth, Arlington and Grapevine.

A mask order is in effect in Tarrant County for any event where more than 100 people are gathered.

"If they're not going to stay home, please wear a mask," Dr. Knowles said. "Please wear a mask."

Dr. Knowles said the hospital had been seeing younger patients, starting in their 20s. They also have been less sick than some of the patients during the early weeks of the pandemic.

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