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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX56/WKYT) – We’re just about a week away from Christmas.

With more people gathering for the holidays this year, health officials said it’s important for people to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Health officials have said around this time last year, COVID-19 cases went up significantly. They anticipate that happening this year.

In fact, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has already seen cases go up in the last four weeks.

Spokesperson Kevin Hall said at the beginning of December, Lexington was averaging about 80 new cases per day, but is now averaging 120 or more cases a day.

Health officials anticipate the omicron variant coming to Kentucky soon but are still worried about the delta variant. Hall said about 80% of all covid hospitalizations are in the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

He said people attending holiday parties should be vaccinated and boosted.

“If you have high-risk individuals, those are our older members of our family, people with some underlying health conditions, make sure you are taking steps to protect them including wearing masks, having them wear masks, but again, the vaccine is the first and best step,” Hall said.

Health officials said it’s important to stay vigilant since it’s also flu season. Flu cases doubled in Lexington last week, with 35 confirmed lab cases. Hall said there are probably many more cases of the flu out there just not reported.

Health officials recommend people stay home if they feel sick.