As we head into the end of the year, and into the holiday season, it's important to be thoughtful of the current health climate when planning family gatherings. Please consider following safety precautions to protect you and your family from illness, including preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In this instance, avoid travel through airports, bus stations, public transportation, etc. Try keeping your gathering local this year, and with family that lives nearby. State-to-state or country-to-country travel is not recommended this year.
There is a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission the more you travel to different communities. If you are the host this year, plan to be mindful of and follow your county or state's current safety and regulation guidelines.
Try something new:
Try going virtual this year! Virtual holidays are a great way to spend the same quality time with family and friends without the risk of person-to-person contact.
Be careful of food contamination
While there is no current evidence that handling food is associated as a direct way of spreading or contracting COVID-19, studies suggest that it is still possible. Practice food safety measures including:
- Washing your hands before, during, and after preparing food
- Keeping foods separated and avoid pot-luck style dinners
- Wearing a mask while preparing and/or serving food to others
- Using utensils that can be thrown away after use
- Limiting a crowd near the food
- Encouraging guests to bring their own food for their family members
Try something new:
Try encouraging your guests to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly by designating a space for them to clean their hands with proper soap and sanitizer. You could even try including hand sanitizers at their seat for quick and easy access.
Additional tips for safe and healthy holidays
- If you are inviting people from outside of your day-to-day household, limit the attendance to allow for social distancing.
- Encourage your guests to bring face masks to be worn after eating meals.
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, high-fives, etc.
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth.
- Do not allow invited guests to attend if they have tested positive for COVID-19, have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or are currently in quarantine from a possible exposure.
- Shop online, or wear your mask in all stores.
- Avoid sharing food, drinks, or utensils.
Try something new:
Be creative and make the most out of your "revised" holiday plans. Try making a game out of socially distant seating or see who can wear the best mask to your gathering.
Moving forward with your plans
If you plan to host the holiday, it's important that you understand the risks associated with your family gathering.
Low risk gatherings means going virtual. This is the safest and most recommended option for your holidays.
More risk gatherings include small, in-person gatherings with families from different households but still spaced six feet apart and wearing masks.
Higher risk gatherings include medium sized events that are still adjusted to allow for social distancing.
Highest risk gatherings include large, in-person gathering with no social distancing, no masks, and several attendees from outside of your local area. This type of gathering can create a COVID-19 hot spot within your home, as displayed in the chart above.
Have a happy holiday!
The best thing you can do for yourself and your family this year is to stay informed. Stay in-the-know about CDC, state, or local guidelines and how they might change based on COVID-19 cases. Whether your event be big or small, be sure to follow as many safety precautions as you can.
Holidays are fun-filled days with family, but this year they have the potential to expose and spread COVID-19. Be safe, take action, and be informed this holiday season. Happy Holidays!
The care you need, right here in Logansport
Care is available for you, when you need it, at Logansport Memorial Express Medical Center located at 3400 East Market Street at Cass Plaza. There are limited hours on major holidays, but no appointments are necessary to see an Express Medical Center provider. When you need us, we will be there for you!