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Holiday Gatherings in the Covid Era
It’s important to remember as the holidays draw near that COVID-19 is still around. It’s still making people sick, including some sick enough to have to go to the hospital. Even though many people are saying the pandemic is over, COVID-19 could be an uninvited guest at your next celebration.
There are things you can do to protect yourself and your guests.
Here’s what you can do right now:
Get up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. Being fully vaccinated and boosted makes it less likely that you are infected, less likely that you will spread it if you do get infected, and less likely to end up in the hospital.
Stock up on COVID-19 tests.
Assume that other people have COVID-19. As more and more people get COVID-19, it’s more likely that you’ll run into them. Begin taking common sense precautions today so you don’t ruin the celebration.
Here’s what you can do before the event:
Get tested. Do an at-home COVID-19 test before you attend any big events to help lower risk for everyone.
Stay home if you’re sick. If your test comes back positive, don’t risk other people’s health and safety. Call the organizer and let them know you can’t make it.
Wear your mask. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, remember that even if you are vaccinated and boosted, you could still pass the virus to others (although the chance is lower). If you choose to attend an event after a COVID exposure, make sure you keep your mask on and think about remote options to help protect others.
Here’s what you can do during the event:
Outside events are much safer than inside events. If your event has indoor and outdoor features, try to stay outside, weather-permitting.
Consider wearing a mask. Even though you’re up-to-date on your vaccines, it’s still possible to get COVID-19. Wearing a mask at these events can help to lower your risk even more. If you do wear a mask, it should be an N95 or KN95, or double masks.
Be careful when eating. If the event has food, eat outside if possible. And minimize the amount of time your mask is off if eating or drinking inside.
Here’s what you can do after the event:
Get tested if you hear that someone who was there tested positive. If you were exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested three to five days after the event. And you should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure, so you don’t accidentally give it to someone else.
There are certain party guests that none of us want. COVID-19 is one of them. Enjoy your celebration, but be sure to make health and safety a priority.