The holidays are here and families are having their gatherings in larger groups than usual. The main concern is how are we all going to celebrate safely when there are back-to-back holidays? We just made it through Thanksgiving and we just began celebrating Hanukkah.
We hope everyone has been safe, but we can’t guarantee this because not everyone is vaccinated for COVID-19. At the same time, we have The Delta variant circulating around Massachusetts and other states. Restrictions have also been lifted in the past few months and some of us are forgetting the COVID-19 safety guidelines we once had down like the ABCs.
We can’t eliminate risk but we can mitigate it, especially by creating various kinds of accommodations for people with higher risk factors. Let’s hope vaccines and therapeutics will keep catching up with the new variants as they emerge and evolve. But the bottom line is that we still have to go on living as close to normal as possible: sending kids to school, letting them see friends, going to our jobs, socializing, eating at our favorite restaurants, consuming culture, and all the rest.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford wants you to stay COVID-19 free this Christmas with a guide on how to celebrate the holidays safely.
Christmas Holiday Plans Depends On Your COVID-19 Vaccination Status
Thankfully, 2021 brought us new testing options like The Rapid COVID-19 test and multiple options for COVID-19 vaccines. Your safest bet to keep everyone at your gathering safe from COVID-19 remains to get vaccinated. Kids ages 5 and up have recently become eligible to get the vaccine. Think of everyone else at your gathering this winter holiday. It’s not just about you. Getting vaccinated will protect others and reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 to others more vulnerable at future gatherings.
The winter is also notorious for other viruses like the flu, colds, or hand, foot, and mouth disease. Plan ahead by getting a flu shot and constantly washing your hands to avoid spreading germs. Know the differences of Colds, flu, and COVID-19 in the chart below:
Travel Safety For The Christmas Holidays
Going away for the Christmas holiday? Know your travel destination’s guidelines. All airports require everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. The CDC also updates their guidance on travel regularly. This includes travel information for vaccinated folk and unvaccinated individuals.
Domestic travel doesn’t require vaccination for COVID-19. However, if you’re unvaccinated you will still need to prove a negative PCR test in order to travel. If you are vaccinated for COVID, you’re good to fly locally in the U.S without any travel delay.
International travel has more restrictions because most countries around the world still have high counts of COVID-19 cases or a resurgence in cases. If that’s not enough we also have the newest variant Omicron, to worry about. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as the best safeguard to protect against COVID-19 and to fly with fewer restrictions. If you are unvaccinated, check your destination for rules on quarantine, and when to get a COVID-19 test before you go and before returning to the U.S. Entry into the U.S. is changing, from country to country all the time.
Getting Tested For COVID-19 After Your Celebrations
We already know the precautions for gatherings are distance, ventilation, wearing masks, and washing our hands frequently. This has been drilled in us for almost two years now. But, the important thing most folks forget is to monitor symptoms after gatherings as well, to avoid going to future gatherings and spreading COVID-19.
It takes about 3-5 days after exposure to see symptoms, so, it would be best to keep monitoring your symptoms 3-5 after your event by getting tested to ensure you’re not bringing the virus with you to your next event.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford Can Help Test You For COVID-19
Whether you’re hosting a gathering or going to one, know that you can have peace of mind by coming to our center for continuous Rapid COVID-19 testing any day of the week. There is no appointment needed when seeing us and we’ll be able to provide results on the same day.
***Plan ahead as the holiday progress, wait times may vary depending on the demand.
If you need to get vaccinated for the flu, we also offer it 7 days a week. We have the quadrivalent flu shot for all ages, including seniors.