LOUISVILLE, KY. — Kentucky’s COVID-19 count is climbing. Local hospital systems like Norton Healthcare say that with the holidays just around the corner, cases could jump even higher.

“I think we should definitely be concerned with Thanksgiving and Christmas. As we tend to see these holidays, they tend to be gatherings. That’s what the holidays are about is getting together with family and friends,” said Dr. Steven Hester, the chief medical officer at Norton Healthcare. "So, I think you’ll find that people need to be responsible, protecting themselves during these holidays.”

Hester spoke to the post-holiday hikes in cases. After Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Halloween, hospitals dealt with a typical seven to 10-day spike that follows. 

With the winter holidays usually filled with larger gatherings and travel, some doctors recommend putting those traditions on the shelf this year. Dr. Katy Hopkins, a pediatric psychologist with Norton Children’s Medical Group, said it's important to sit down with your children to help prepare them.

“Any way that you can prepare your kids as soon as possible for those changes are going to be really important,” she said.

Hopkins is a mother as well, so she knows firsthand that these conversations can be hard. But, you can help keep the holiday smiles by keeping your kids engaged in some of the safe plans you can do this year.

“Because we’re going to be staying at home, we are going to be able to cook cookies all day long and stay in our pajamas all day long and not have to spend time in the car which you always hate anyway,” said Hopkins.

A helpful tip can be to make a list of things the family will do once it is safe to do so. Keeping your children involved like this is a good way for them to know you’re listening to their concerns.

“Acknowledge their feelings and then figuring out ways to feel better, find silver linings, those things can be helpful and go a long way,” she said.

Rituals and traditions start somewhere, maybe this is the year you start new traditions and the promise that we’ll get through this together.

“These things can be valuable about not only the values in our traditions but also that things do get better,” she added.