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Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Nights of Lights brings large crowds despite pandemic

It’s a holiday tradition First Coast families should be cautious about this year, Baptist Health Chief Physician Executive Dr. Elizabeth Ransom explained.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Nights of Lights is a holiday tradition First Coast Families should be cautious about this year, Baptist Health Chief Physician Executive Dr. Elizabeth Ransom explained, as the spectacle attracts visitors from across the country while COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

“A lot of people, in close proximity and not wearing masks – there’s definitely a risk there," Ransom said. "It’s not of course as high if all of those people were inside, but still being that close with a lot of people... that’s risky."

She said a way families can enjoy the lights while staying safe is by driving through the display in their cars.

City of St. Augustine spokesperson Melissa Wissel admits the challenge is making sure visitors are wearing masks without a mandate requiring them to.

However, the city is relaunching its mask initiative and has already begun distributing signs this week to businesses on St. George street reminding visitors to mask up.

Next week, Wissel said the city will be putting up more signage at parking kiosks and other places downtown where visitors walk around to see the lights.