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CDC offers guidelines for safer ways to celebrate holidays

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday offered tips on how people can minimize the risk of catching COVID-19 for themselves and their loved ones during the holiday season.

The CDC recommends everyone eligible to get vaccinated do so, to protect people who cannot get the shot, such as young children. The vaccine is currently not approved for anyone under the age of 12.

People should wear well-fitting masks over their nose and mouth while indoors and around others if not fully vaccinated. For fully vaccinated people, a mask is recommended in public indoor settings in communities with “substantial to high transmission,” the CDC stated in a news release.

Outdoors is safer than indoors, and people are best to avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.

Anyone who is sick or has symptoms should not attend gatherings. People who have symptoms of the coronavirus or came in contact with someone who has it should get tested.

The CDC has a travel page to help decide what is best for people and their family if they intend to visit somewhere else over the holidays, and the agency advises delaying travel until fully vaccinated.

For people not fully vaccinated who must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations. Everyone is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.

Other special considerations from the CDC:

  • People with weakened immune systems may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. Take precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a mask, until advised otherwise by a health care provider.
  • People can wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of the household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
  • Consider additional precautions if gathering with a group from multiple households or different parts of the country, like avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel and taking a test.
  • Do not put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.

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