Some MLK Day Events Postponed Due To Rising COVID-19 Cases, Some Still Relevant – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Over the past year, many big events have returned after the pandemic put them on hold, but some are now starting to shrink again due to the increase in cases.

This includes the celebrations for the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday on January 17th. In Arlington, organizers announced this week that their annual four-day MLK celebration of “Advancing the Dream” has been postponed.

Pastor Kennedy Jones, a member of the Arlington MLK Celebration Committee, said the decision was not taken lightly, but they felt it was the more prudent move.

“The events themselves are specifically meant to bring people together,” Pastor Jones said on Friday. “It was very difficult trying to decide if we would stop or if we could just go through and take the risk. We just felt the risk was too great.

Organizers cited the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in and around Arlington as the reason for the postponement. Tarrant County Public Health reported 3,952 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

Credit: Tarrant County Public Health

Dr Grant Fowler, president of family medicine at TCU-UNTHSC Fort Worth School of Medicine, said the new variant of Omicron is considered more contagious but generally milder.

“If we had to pick one that spreads faster, it’s certainly great that it doesn’t appear to be the one that causes so many serious breathing problems,” said Dr Fowler.

Fowler added that more event planners might choose to postpone or cancel over the next few weeks and months due to the increase in cases, but he predicted that cancellations and postponements might not occur as frequently as the response to the Delta variant.

“I think people are probably going to relax a bit if they are fully immunized and just start taking the risk of wanting to do it. I think it will just be human nature over time, ”he said.

Not all upcoming events celebrating the life of Dr King are suspended. In Fort Worth, Jim Austin said his organization’s events this year are still scheduled. Austin, co-founder of the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, said their events included a day of service, a health fair and three concerts in January.

Overall, Austin said he felt comfortable with their protocols in place.

“Masks are mandatory and temperatures are taken for the safety of anyone coming to the show. There is so much being canceled right now across the country. Particularly in Fort Worth, we want to be sensitive to the public “He said.” The health salon is indoors, but the site is 10,000 square feet. There will probably only be a few hundred people coming in for that.

Whether events are pending or pending, Pastor Jones said there are ways to personalize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this January 17.

“Dr. King’s life was devoted to service,” he said. “I think if we take stock that we’re going to commit to serving on this day and when the four-day celebration will really happen or the weekend will come in February, so I think we’ll honor his legacy. “

Jones has said the rescheduled event will likely take place in February, but they have yet to announce a final date.

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