COVID-19 and the Holidays: Here’s what you need to know

As people across the country prepare for the Holidays, here’s what you need to know about how to keep you and your family safe during the holidays.

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Aubrey Boland, Staff Reporter

The Holiday season has always been a time of joy and celebration and this year is no exception. Despite the challenging year that 2020 has been, Americans are still gearing up to get ready for the holiday season.

The countdown to Thanksgiving and Christmas is on and concerns of COVID-19 are rising as families across the country are planning to travel to be with loved ones. For many Americans, Thanksgiving is the one time a year that families are able to get together and escape the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life. This year, families are encouraged to keep gatherings to a minimum and include only members from their households.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening, and small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases,” said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Protect yourself, your family, and others by understanding the risks of traveling and attending gatherings during the Holidays, and consider changing up your usual traditions.

If you still plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside of your immediate family, then there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe.

  • Wear a mask
  • Stay 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Consider bringing your own food to reduce contact
  • Opt for single-use options such as paper plates, plastic utensils, and condiment packages
If you are traveling, your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 increases. Make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to make traveling safer for everyone. The CDC recommends:
  • Getting your flu shot before traveling
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Bring extra supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizer

If you have the ability to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling or gathering with your family, consider doing so. This will allow you to protect those you love, as well as others around you.

The holidays should be a time of spreading joy and love, not COVID-19. If everyone does their part and follows the recommended guidelines, we can reduce the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.