Avera Medical Minute: Questions and Answers about safely enjoying the holidays during the pandemic

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 11:25 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After experiencing the stress of 2020, having the comfort of friends and family close over the holiday season may seem like a great idea. Chief Medical Officer Doctor Kevin Post at Avera Medical Group answers questions about Christmas, the pandemic, and how to stay safe.

Q: How can we navigate the holiday season with safety in mind during the pandemic?

A: The number one thing is planning ahead, having open dialogue and discussions with your family members, how to hold this safely but also in a way that you can still spend time together. That may be gathering somewhat virtually, gathering in small groups with just immediate family members. Also, looking at how you serve your food, that you don’t go through more of a potluck or buffet type style. Serving individual plated foods, etc. Another thing to watch out for over the holidays is alcohol use. Excessive alcohol use can make people kind of let their guard down at times where you may become more careless and the safety measures.

Q: For someone who has already tested positive for COVID and has recovered, what about that person being in attendance for a family gathering or a holiday gathering?

A: Yes, we’ll think tested positive and then recovered, they could definitely attend a family gathering in the ways we just mentioned as long as it’s done safely. I think what’s key to remember though is even though we may have someone who has had that and recovers, we don’t know for sure how long that immunity lasts. And you know if you were exposed to COVID again you may not have an active infection yourself but you still may serve as a carrier to give the virus to someone else who has not yet been exposed, and who may be high-risk if they do receive that.

Q: And what is the CDC recommending about traveling during the holiday season?

A: If you can avoid travel, please do. It’s just safest to stay at home. If you have been recently sick or currently sick or have been exposed to some with COVID really reconsider whether it needs to do that travel at all. And then also, as you look at the location of where you’re going, you’ll want to definitely check the state and local recommendations or restrictions because there are some of them when traveling domestically as well. I think we’ve come a long way, as a, as a community as a region since March of last year when this all began. I think we’re at a time of hope, where the vaccine is coming. So I just really think what we need to do is continue to pull together I thank the public for their perseverance their cooperation. And I think we just need to see this through that end and I think we do that by working together to move through this, to live through this safely and hopefully live beyond this pandemic. So we can get back to our, our normal lives.

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