This time last year, we still had more questions than answers about COVID-19 and vaccines were not yet available. Many people spent the holidays alone at home out of an abundance of caution. Others got together with friends and family, but may have inadvertently contributed to a rise in infections.
This year is different: We know a lot more about this dreaded virus and most of us are vaccinated too. We are eager to finally spend time with loved ones over the holidays, even as we scan the headlines for news of the new Omicron variant.
This holiday season we need to make it our collective mission to spread good cheer, not COVID-19! Start by making sure you and yours are vaccinated, and, if possible, “boosted” to reduce the spread and severity of any infection. And, if you are planning on hosting any holiday gatherings, be smart about making your event as safe as it is festive.
In addition to limiting the number of households that are mingling, encouraging your guests to get vaccinated in advance, holding your event outdoors or in a well-ventilated space, and masking indoors, which is once again being mandated in states like California, consider using testing as part of your strategy.
By making sure none of your guests are inadvertently harboring an asymptomatic infection, you can keep your holiday gathering from being the source of another COVID-19 outbreak. (After all, it’s no fun having to contact guests after your holiday get together only to let them know they’ve been exposed to a potentially fatal virus!)
Below are some of the testing options you might want to consider, especially for unvaccinated guests:
This holiday season is bound to be more festive than last year’s. There is no reason not to get together with friends and family as long as we are all smart about reducing the risk of infection. Here’s to a joyous and safe holiday season!