This Halloween, wear a mask –– and not just the spooky kind.
After spending last Halloween and Thanksgiving sequestered inside during COVID lockdown, many US holiday revelers are no doubt clamoring to celebrate the upcoming 2021 festivities in style. Unfortunately, large-scale gatherings increase the chances of contracting COVID-19 –– especially in light of the virus’ Delta variant. Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a set of guidelines on how to ring in the holidays safely in the time of Corona.
Safer Ways to Acknowledge the Holidays
Regardless of vaccination status, the CDC advises holding virtual holiday soirees in which revelers celebrate with family and friends via video chat. Holidaymakers are encouraged to throw a “virtual dance party and collaborate with friends and family on a playlist,” per the guidelines.
With regards to presents, the CDC suggests that people take gifts and food to “family, friends and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, such as leaving them at the door.”
Celebrating In-Person With People Outside Your Household
Of course, sometimes brick-and-mortar shindigs are inevitable. In this event, hosts should hold the festivities outdoors and make sure that guests stand 6 feet apart.
If gathering indoors, revelers should ensure there is plenty of fresh air by opening windows and doors and even positioning a fan in one of the open windows to blow the air out.
They should also adhere to CDC mask guidelines, which stipulate that unvaccinated individuals aged 2 or older wear a face covering while inside.
People generally don’t need to don PPE outdoors, per the guidelines. However, in areas with a high COVID risk, the CDC recommends masking up in crowded outside spaces and while engaging in close contact activities with those who didn’t receive a jab.
In general, the org advises having “conversations ahead of time to understand expectations for celebrating together.”
Don’t throw away your shot at a holiday trip just yet. Those with Yuletide wanderlust are advised to forgo flying until fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the CDC recommends that unvaxxed holiday travelers –– or those with children under 12 –– choose alternative ways to reach their destination, such as driving.
Travelers are urged to consult the CDC’s travel guidelines before embarking on a holiday getaway.
The guidelines currently only apply to Halloween and Turkey Day, as experts don’t yet know what the pandemic landscape will look like come Christmastime.
“It’s just too soon to tell.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, told “Face the Nation” Sunday. “We’ve just gotta concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re gonna do at a particular time.”
And while the infectious disease expert says the US is “turning the corner” in the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic — he warned that case numbers could start climbing again if more people don’t get vaccinated.
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