By Ronald Hall, RN, Starr Regional Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer
The final two months of the year are traditionally filled with a number of opportunities to celebrate with family, friends and co-workers. Of course, 2020 has been anything but a traditional year, thanks in no small part to the ongoing pandemic. As we continue to fight COVID-19 and work to slow the spread in our community, it’s a good idea to take a moment and rethink how we celebrate during the upcoming holiday season.
As you plan your holidays, it’s important to first remember that in-person celebrations with only members of your own household or virtual celebrations using online video apps like Zoom and FaceTime pose the lowest risk for infection and spread of COVID-19. Other in-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk, depending on a variety of factors including:
If you are planning an in-person event, it’s a good idea to keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you’re creating as safe an environment as possible:
Many of us are accustomed to traveling during the holiday season, whether it’s a family celebration or a getaway. While travel does increase the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk and help protect yourself and others while traveling, including:
It’s also important to note that if you have COVID-19, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are at increased risk for severe illness resulting from COVID-19, you should not attend in-person celebrations or travel.
Like many things this year, the 2020 holiday season will look a bit different and will be a bit more complicated to navigate. By following these tips, we can celebrate as safely as possible while ensuring that we’re doing what we can to defeat COVID-19, protect our health and make our community – and our holidays – as healthy as possible.
For more tips on celebrating safely this holiday season, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.