With the holidays approaching rapidly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday issued a list of recommendations intended to minimize COVID-19 exposure as Americans plan their gatherings and celebrations.
According to the agency, the safest ways to celebrate during this time of COVID-19 fall into one of three categories:
- With people who live with you only
- Outside and at least six feet apart from others
Meanwhile, the CDC urged any unvaccinated Americans to get their COVID-19 inoculations as soon as possible to maximize protection against the highly transmissible delta variant, while minimizing its spread to others. The agency also recommended wearing a mask indoors in public in areas of “substantial or high (virus) transmission.”
Specifically, the CDC recommended additional “safer” ways to celebrate the 2021 holidays, including - but not limited to - the following:
- Throw a virtual dance party and collaborate with friends and family on a playlist.
- Drive or walk around your community to wave to neighbors from a safe distance.
- Take food or gifts to family, friends and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving the presents at the door.
- Volunteer to help others in need.
- Click here to see the complete list.
Meanwhile, celebrating in-person with people outside of your household increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, but steps can be taken to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus, the CDC stated. For instance:
- Get vaccinated.
- Have conversations ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together.
- Do not attend or host a gathering if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wear a mask in indoor public places if you are not fully vaccinated and are 2 years old or older.
- Consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
- Keep fresh air circulating when celebrating indoors by opening windows and doors and placing a window fan in an open window to draw stale air out, while pulling fresh air in from the other open windows.
Finally, the CDC recommended delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and following its Domestic Travel or International Travel recommendations for unvaccinated people if unvaccinated travel cannot be avoided.
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