With COVID-19 cases rising again across the nation, especially among racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities, this year’s family holiday gatherings are going to look a lot different than usual. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges all Americans to stay home and celebrate with the people you live with.
To spread awareness, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) is promoting a very important and simple task for communities across the country #HolidayAskWearAMask. By wearing a mask, watching your distance, and washing your hands frequently, together, we can make the holidays safer for everyone.
Communities can also help lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 during the holidays through personal prevention practices recommended by the CDC. This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart, staying home when sick, handwashing, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and postponing travel.
If you are thinking about hosting a gathering, please consider the three levels of risks:
- Lower risk activities:
- Having a small dinner with people you live with, having a virtual dinner, shopping online, etc.
- Moderate risk activities:
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends in your community, attending a small outdoor sports event with safety precautions in place, etc.
- Higher risk activities:
- Attending large gatherings with people outside of your household, in-person shopping, attending crowded events, traveling, etc.
Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.
Remember, we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Follow the 3 Ws to protect yourself and those around you. Wash your hands. Wear a face mask. Watch your distance.
For more information, see the CDC's Considerations for Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings to help you and your loved ones stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. And don’t forget as a #HolidayAskWearAMask!