Are you planning on celebrating Christmas with family and friends? Make sure you consider everyone's health and safety because COVID-19 is still around, and is most likely here to stay, in one shape or form.
Although ( good news!!) we now have vaccines for COVID-19 and faster testing options like the Rapid test, there are still people who are not vaccinated who are at risk of exposure to the new Delta variant and other emerging variants. We need to ensure that we’re enforcing COVID-19 safety precautions so that no one gets sick. We also should be focusing on monitoring our symptoms as the weeks go by to avoid spreading them.
AFC Urgent Care Malden has created a COVID-19 health and safety guide for everyone to stay COVID-19 free this Christmas. Here are 3 health and safety tips to keep in mind during the holiday season.
Get Vaccinated For The Flu!
We mentioned earlier that there are still people who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 yet. Kids ages 5 and up still fit this category because they just became eligible and are not fully vaccinated yet. On top of all of this, the winter season is notorious for colds, the flu, norovirus, and even hand foot, and mouth disease.
It can be confusing, and scary. We know that symptoms often overlap with some of these illnesses, especially colds, flu, and COVID-19, so here is a chart to break down the differences:
We are also seeing patients come in for hand, foot, and mouth disease. It is contagious, but thankfully it’s not COVID-19. So, if you have symptoms of rash on your hands and feet, or sores in your mouth, that’s probably not COVID-19. You can come to see us any day of the week to be evaluated and treated.
Know Your Travel Destination This Christmas Season
***All airports and airlines require you to wear a mask to board a plane.
Make sure you pack extra masks and sanitizers for your trip. If you plan to fly during the holidays, make sure you know your destination and the steps you need to take to travel safely.
Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not required for traveling domestically in the U.S. However, you should check your destination as a negative PCR test is required at least 1-3 days before traveling if you’re unvaccinated. The CDC also recommends getting tested when you return. If you are vaccinated, you’re good to fly locally in the U.S without any delays.
As for international flights, The CDC recommends getting vaccinated, as most countries are still red zoned for high cases of COVID-19 and with the latest Omicron variant emerging, entry back into the U.S. is restricted from many countries. Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will be your safest bet to avoid the virus as well as avoid any delay in your travel plans. If you’re not vaccinated, follow these rules by The CDC.
Follow The Same Health And Safety Rules Like You Would For Any Other Holiday
Just because we have less restrictions this year, as well as vaccines for COVID-19 and rapid testing options, it doesn’t mean you can throw health and safety out the window. If kids ages 5 and up are still waiting for their second vaccine or are getting their first, then we still need to take precautions such as washing hands, keeping a distance, making sure the gathering is ventilated by opening the windows, wearing masks and getting tested if going to multiple holiday gatherings.
If you’re hosting a gathering, encourage everyone who isn’t already vaccinated to get tested prior to coming regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not. You’re not only doing yourself a favor but helping those who are immunocompromised or party guests who are not fully vaccinated feel safe when attending your gathering. Also, consider getting tested after your gathering in case you’re planning on going to another holiday gathering or to keep peace of mind that you’re COVID-19 free.
AFC Urgent Care Malden Wishes You A COVID-19 Free Christmas Season
AFC Urgent Care center in Malden Massachusetts is ready to treat you and test you for COVID-19 in time for the holidays. We are open 7 days a week and there is no appointment needed when visiting us. We offer Rapid COVID-19 testing with results on the same day.
***As the holiday season approaches, wait times for testing may be longer than usual due to an increase in demand for testing. Make sure to plan ahead for your events this Christmas and don’t wait till the last minute.
If you need a flu shot to avoid the ‘twindemic’, we offer the quadrivalent flu shot for all ages, including seniors! There is no appointment needed. Just walk-in!