Holiday season has many out looking for gifts, despite rise in COVID-19 cases


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — We’re just one week away from Christmas, and many people are out buying gifts for the holiday.

This comes as North Carolina is seeing a new record in COVID cases with more than 8,000 in a 24-hour period. People have been out and about picking up gifts and browsing around. It’s even hard to find a parking spot at some shopping centers.

“Traffic has been pretty bad lately,” said Frances Reed, who lives in Greenville. “The parking lots are full out here.”

Shoppers are noticing an uptick in activity.

“People are venturing out more,” said Faith Kiser, who came to Greenville to buy Christmas presents. “Restaurants have been busier. Stores have been busier.”

Some people are choosing to do more online shopping this year. Others are making sure they get out and shop local.

“Supporting our small businesses during COVID has been a big things for us,” said Kiser.

Many shoppers are taking precautions when they head to the stores. But some say the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine, including news of Moderna’s vaccine receiving FDA approval, has made people reckless.

“It makes some people careless because they think that it’ll be happening in the next few months and that things will go back to normal,” said Sita Tayal, a holiday shopper.

Health experts are encouraging people to continue practicing the “3W’s” and discouraging holiday travel this year.

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