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CDC recommendations for staying safe during winter holidays

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some helpful tips on how you and your loved ones can celebrate a safely this Christmas. The safest way to celebrate winter holidays is at home with the people who live with you. Travel and gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Everyone Can Make Winter Holiday Celebrations Safer

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19 to protect others and yourself.

  • Wear your mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face.

  • Wear a mask indoors and outdoors.

  • In cold weather, wear your mask under your scarf, ski mask, or balaclava.

  • Keep a spare mask in case your mask becomes wet from moisture in your breath or from snow or rain.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  • Remember that people without symptoms or with a recent negative test result can still spread COVID-19 to others.

Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces

  • As much as possible, avoid crowds and indoors spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and before eating.

  • Make sure to dry your hands completely using a clean towel or by air drying.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Instead of hosting or attending holiday parties and risking infection and/or spreading COVId-19, consider these:

Host a virtual celebration with friends and family

  • Schedule a time to eat a meal together virtually and have people show their main dish, vegetable, or dessert.

  • Host a virtual “ugly” holiday sweater contest.

Gather virtually for a gift exchange or activity

  • Schedule a time to meet virtually to open gifts together.

  • Build gingerbread houses, decorate cookies, or make holiday crafts and decorations.

Decorate for the season

  • Decorate or create a winter holiday scene and take family photos at home.

  • Drive or walk around your community to look at decorations from a safe distance or drive through a local holiday light display.

  • Make holiday crafts, cards, or cookies to send or deliver to family, friends, and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving them at the door.

For a full list of tips for the holiday season, click here.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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