Concerned for the Holidays

Our Chief Nursing Officer, Olivia Rogers, answers questions from patients and their families.

Dear Olivia,

As we approach the holiday season, my family is concerned about how to celebrate together safely, if that is even possible. For many of us who have not been traveling or gathering much, we were so looking forward to sharing the joy of the season together. How do we determine what is safe and should we be getting together at all this year?

~Concerned for the Holidays

Dear Concerned for the Holidays,

That is a valid concern that seems to be on everyone’s minds as we approach the holidays while the pandemiccontinues. This is a critical time to be extra vigilant as the pandemic is worsening at this time. However, there are still many ways to enjoy and celebrate traditions while keeping you and your loved ones safe. Here are some tips:

  • Celebrate virtually or with members of your same household (friends or family with whom you share a home) rather than attending or hosting gatherings with persons outside your immediate family or roommates.
  • If you do plan to get together with others to celebrate, consider the number of cases in your area to help determine if it is safe to gather with people outside your household. If the numbers in your geographic area (city, state) are elevated, it may not be safe to gather.
  • Consider the behavior of those with whom you are planning to see during the holidays. Those who have been consistently wearing a mask and social distancing are going to be safer to reduce the risk of exposure than those who have not.
  • Outdoor gatherings, if possible, are safer than indoors, and maintaining social distancing is also still important.
  • The number of people at a gathering outside the household is also important; more people pose greater risk for spreading infection.
  • While gathered, adhering to the normal precautions such as handwashing, maintaining a distance of six feet from others and frequent handwashing are still very important.

For more helpful hints and tips on staying safe this holiday season, check out the CDC’s link below. downloads/COVID19-symptoms-11×17-en.pdf