Tips to avoid COVID-19 infections during the holiday season – Telemundo Chicago

The Illinois Department of Public Health released a new guide on how to safely celebrate and enjoy family gatherings during the holiday season to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike offers several practical tips and advice if you have to travel, shop, and during meetings on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live and play, and now it will change the way we celebrate the holidays,” said Ezike.

“While the safest way to celebrate only with members of your household and share with others virtually, we know that for many these dates are to share with family and friends, so we want to provide these tips on how to celebrate in a safe way”.

Travels

  • Traveling in general increases the possibility of spreading COVID-19. When planning a trip, consider the mode of transportation.
  • Traveling by plane, train or bus means standing in line and sitting less than 6 feet away from people for long periods of time.
  • Traveling by car can include stops along the way for gas, food, and bathroom breaks.
  • Reduce the risk of infection by constantly wearing a mask while traveling.
  • If you are sick, do not travel and do not attend meetings and celebrations. Even if your symptoms are mild, you may be able to infect other people.

Meetings

  • If you are hosting a Christmas gathering, limit the number of guests.
  • Try to do your outdoor activities as much as possible if the weather conditions allow it.
  • If the meeting is indoors, increase airflow and ventilation by partially opening a couple of windows.
  • When you are not eating or drinking it is recommended that you and the guests wear the mask inside the residence or space where they are gathered.
  • Limit your activities in the two weeks leading up to your meeting and ask your guests to do the same. This will reduce the risk of virus exposure and spread.
  • Think of ways to set the table seats apart if you are planning to have dinner.
  • Sit members of the same household together and try to save space between a family and other guests.
  • Do not serve food buffet style or shared food, ideally it is a single person who serves all the food and distributes the utensils.
  • Try to limit the number of people entering and leaving areas where food is prepared, such as the kitchen and dining room.
  • If you are sick, do not travel and do not attend meetings and celebrations. Even if your symptoms are mild, you may be able to infect other people.
  • To help prevent illness, get a flu shot now. It takes the body several weeks after receiving the vaccine to build up antibodies to help protect it from the flu.

Shopping

  • Try to buy your gifts online or you can also go and collect them at the store.
  • Online grocery shopping with curbside delivery and pickup is also available at many locations.
  • If you need to shop in person, try to go at a time when stores are not as crowded.

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