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Monday, November 9, 2020

Area residents encouraged to take COVID-19 precautions while celebrating holidays

Area residents are being encouraged to continue to take COVID-19 precautions while celebrating holidays in the days and months ahead.

The risk of any particular event is based on several factors that should be considered both individually and together, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include:

  • COVID-19 transmission rates – The rate of COVID-19 transmission in the communities where attendees will be coming from and in the location where the gathering will be held.
  • Location of the event – Events held indoors or with poor ventilation will be riskier than events held outdoors.
  • Length of gathering – Longer events are riskier than shorter events.
  • Number of people at an event – While there are no formal limitations on event size currently, the higher the number of people at an event, the riskier the event is. The CDC recommends that the size of gatherings be set based on the ability to reduce/limit contact among attendees and any other guidelines by regulatory authorities.
  • Behavior of attendees before gathering – Attendees who have not been following social distancing, mask wearing and handwashing guidelines are riskier than attendees who have been following preventative behaviors.
  • Behavior during events – The more preventive measures in place during an event, such as mask wearing, social distancing and handwashing, the lower the risk is for attending.

There are several groups that should not attend in-person holidays or events per the CDC. If you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, neither you nor anyone in your household should take part in or host in-person festivities. These restrictions apply if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet met the guidelines for when it’s permissible to be around others;
  • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Are waiting for COVID-19 test results; and
  • Were exposed to someone who has COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

The CDC also recommends that if you are someone at risk for severe illness or if you live or work with someone who faces an increased risk, you should:

  • Avoid attending in-person gatherings with others who you don’t live with; and
  • Avoid larger events and consider going to events that are less risky (if deciding to attend an in-person event with persons outside your household).

For more information on considerations for fall and winter holidays, click HERE.

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