With the holidays right around the corner, and COVID-19 cases increasing across New England, you may be wondering how to stay safe this season while still enjoying time with family and friends.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that we are not back to “normal” yet. However, with some precautions, we can celebrate this festive time in good health.
Here are ten ways to help keep you and your family safe this season:
- Get vaccinated for COVID-19. Everyone ages five and older is now eligible. COVID-19 vaccination reduces your risk of getting and spreading the disease and your chance of severe illness.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if you are 18 years or older and previously vaccinated. Boosters are recommended six months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after receiving a Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.
- Be mindful of indoor crowds and try to avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. Read the CDC’s tips related to small and large gatherings.
- Consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings if you are not vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Before you travel, check out the CDC's tips for safe travel.
- If you travel by car with others or celebrate indoors, consider opening windows for fresh air and to increase ventilation.
- If you or someone you live with are , stay home. Do not host or attend a gathering.
- Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- Outside remains the safest place to be when gathering with others. There are many options for outdoor holiday fun — attend a tree lighting, go ice skating, sledding, or skiing, take walks in the woods, or stroll through a city to see festive decorations. All of these can become new traditions and create safe, fun, and special memories.
- Finally, get your flu vaccine! Vaccination has many benefits, including reducing the risk of flu illnesses and hospitalizations.
For more information on ways to safely celebrate the holidays, visit the CDC’s holiday celebration guide. We wish you and your loved ones a very happy season!
Allergies or COVID-19?
Dr. Sara Narayan, an allergist with Allergy West and affiliated with Emerson Hospital, explains the difference between allergies and COVID-19 in this episode of Emerson Hospital's Health Works Here Podcast
About Scott Paparello, DO
Scott Paparello, DO, is the chief of infectious diseases at Emerson Hospital.