Today is Labor Day, and that means more than some time off for some folks.

Labor Day celebrates the contribution of workers to American society. The U.S. Department of Labor says it's unclear who came up with the idea, but it started with unions.

The Central Labor Union appears to have planned the first Labor Day in New York City in 1882.

It became a yearly tradition, and municipalities and states began to officially recognize it.

In 1894, Congress made Labor Day a national holiday that falls on the first Monday in September each year. 

Many celebrate Labor Day with cookouts and beach outings with family and friends.

This year, Labor Day is the third big holiday of the coronavirus pandemic, and it comes with warnings from health officials.

Wear a mask, avoid large gatherings and keep your distance.

While some are opting for socially distant walks or small barbecues with family, others choosing to enjoy the last blast of summer just like any other year.

Health experts say Labor Day is a critical point in the fight against the pandemic, given the potential danger of COVID-19 colliding with flu season.

The previous two holidays and Fourth of July gatherings fueled large spikes in coronavirus cases across the South and West, causing many states to dial back their reopening plans.

In Mobile County, the health department reported some encouraging numbers heading into this Labor Day holiday weekend. The Mobile County Health Department reported 55 cases Friday, down from 59 in Thursday's report.

We have been in the double digits eight out of the past nine reports.

No deaths were reported on Friday, and the number currently hospitalized is down by six. We are almost below the 100 mark.

Health officials encourage people to continue to wear face masks and to social distance to keep the COVID-19 numbers trending down.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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