The covid-19 pandemic has turned everyone's routine upside down with social distancing, mask-wearing and isolation from friends and family. Slowly, people are getting back to their day-to-day routines with safety protocols in place and people getting vaccinated as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Teresa Henson.
"As Thanksgiving approaches, people are so eager to get with their friends and loved ones to celebrate together," Henson, an Extension specialist-program outreach coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said in a news release.
"However, people must keep in mind that covid-19 still exists, and the risk of catching covid-19 remains," she said. "The best way to keep you, your friends and your family safe while attending holiday gatherings is to adhere to the following holiday recommendations from the CDC."
• Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children, by getting yourself, and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
• Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoors settings if you are not fully vaccinated.
Even fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission. Outdoors is safer than indoors.
• Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
• If you are sick or have symptoms, do not host or attend a gathering.
Get tested if you have symptoms of covid-19 or have close contact with someone who has covid-19.
• If you consider traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC's travel webpage to help you decide what is best for you and your family. The CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC's domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.
If you are traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options.
Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.
People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask unless their healthcare provider advises otherwise.
You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
Suppose you gather with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country. In that case, you could consider additional precautions such as avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel or taking a test in advance of gathering to reduce risk further.
Do not put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.
For more information about covid-19 travel guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Source: Holiday Celebrations. (October 15, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html.