(RxWiki News) As fall approaches, so do the holidays. And as the coronavirus pandemic continues, many are wondering how to stay clear of COVID-19 and celebrate the holidays safely.
Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas, holiday celebrations will have to undergo many changes to ensure your family's safety as we continue to deal with the uncertainty linked to COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend social distancing, frequent hand-washing and face masks.
With the holidays around the corner, many people will be gathering together, so it becomes difficult to abide by all of these recommendations.
You can still take steps to keep yourself and your family safe. A big step toward safety is celebrating holidays virtually or only with members of your own household to help prevent the spread of the virus, according to the CDC.
If you are planning to host or attend an event, there are many things you need to consider to assess the COVID-19 risk before the event:
- How many COVID-19 cases are there in your community? The higher the number of cases in the community, the higher the risk is of infection and spread among the people attending the event. It is also important to take into account whether there will be attendees from areas with more cases.
- Will the event be indoor or outdoor? Outdoor events pose less of a risk than indoor events.
- How long will the event last? Longer gatherings pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- How many people will attend? The larger the crowd, the larger the risk is. However, the CDC did not recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings.
The CDC noted that these recommendations and considerations are meant to supplement — not replace — any health and safety laws, rules, and regulations set by your state and local area.
If you will be hosting a gathering, here are some ways to keep yourself and your family safe:
- Plan an outdoor event if possible.
- If you have to be indoors, select a location that is uncrowded, ventilated well and not fully enclosed. Consider opening windows and doors for extra ventilation.
- Limit the number of people attending as much as possible.
- Host activities only with people from your local area as much as possible.
- Wear masks.
- Social distance while at the event.
- Minimize shaking hands or giving hugs. The CDC recommended waving and verbally greeting others.
- Wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is an option if water and soap are not available.
The same recommendations apply if you will be attending a gathering.
You may also ask others (people outside of your household) to avoid contact with other people outside of their households for 14 days before attending your gathering.
If you have any questions or concerns, ask your health care provider.