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

As the holidays approach, there is no doubt that we cannot celebrate like we are used to in past years, due to Covid 19. And recently, the Delta and Omicron variants have created an even more urgent need for us to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

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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