Be Festive, Stay Safe! Tips for a Safer Holiday Season

No matter how you celebrate, help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stay home if sick:
Celebrate at home if you or your family members are not feeling well or have recently tested positive for COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and were recently exposed to
someone with COVID-19, you should also stay home.

Get vaccinated: It is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19. Once fully vaccinated, all activities become safer. Get a booster dose if you are eligible, particularly if you are at higher risk.

Wear a face mask:
You can have COVID-19 and not know it. Everyone should wear a face mask when in public indoor spaces or in crowded outdoor spaces.

Keep your hands clean:
Wash your hands often or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and cover your coughs and sneezes.

Safer holiday activities
• Host a virtual party. If you or your friends and family are not fully vaccinated, celebrate with a video dinner party. Ring in the new year at a virtual costume party.
• Deck the halls. Put up decorations to get in the holiday spirit.
Walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the decorated homes and shops. Stop for a hot drink to stay warm.
• Spread the holiday cheer. Surprise your neighbor by dropping of some holiday cookies. Mail holiday cards to your co-workers or call a friend you have not spoken to in a while. Invite someone who may be alone to join your holiday dinner.
• Let it snow. Make a snow person, go sledding or snow shoeing, or have a snowball fight.
• Holiday shopping. Shop online to avoid crowds or call for curbside pickup at your favorite local store. If you shop in person, wear a face mask even if vaccinated, use hand sanitizer and go during off hours.
• Have a feast. Make your favorite holiday meal and share it with your loved ones – you’ve earned it!

Gatherings
Gathering with others increases the risk of COVID-19 especially if not everyone is vaccinated. Group settings make physical distancing difficult and it is not possible to wear a face mask when eating and drinking. If you meet up with others:
• Consider risks: If you or a loved one are an older adult or have a health condition that increases your risk of severe COVID-19, consider staying home and enjoying the holidays from afar, especially if you are not fully vaccinated.
• Get tested. Get a COVID-19 test before and after you attend a gathering or travel, especially if you will be with older adults or others at increased risk of severe COVID-19.

Keep it small: The more people that gather close together, the higher the risk of COVID-19.
• Celebrate outdoors: COVID-19 spreads easier inside because there is less air circulation.
This is especially true in winter when doors and windows are shut.
• Keep your plate to yourself: Do not share plates, glasses or utensils. Avoid communal foods.

To find a vaccination site, visit nyc.gov/vaccinefnder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692).
To find a testing site, visit nyc.gov/covidtest or call 311.
For mental health support, call 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355), text “WELL” to 65173, or visit nyc.gov/nycwell.

Source: NYCDOHMH ttps://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/covid-19-safer-holidays.pdf

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