Holidays Must Be Different This Year, Say Health Officials
Health officials say holiday gatherings, even among family members, need to be different this year because of the threat of COVID-19.
The safest way to avoid the virus is to skip gatherings with people outside your immediate household, says Dr. Danny Avula with the Richmond City-Henrico Health District.
But if you are going to travel or attend a larger event, start planning now. "I would ask that people think about how much they are cloistering themselves in the days leading up to that gathering," Avula advised. "If they can quarantine themselves for 14 days and minimize any exposure, that’s the safest thing to do. If 14 days is unreasonable, then think about getting tested before you go into that family gathering."
Avula says once you’re in the gathering, the same guidelines for workplaces and schools should apply—Keep it outside as much as possible. Keep your distance and wear masks. Don't stay overnight with extended family members.
After the gathering or trip is over, consider quarantining for another 14 days.
Avula admitted it's a big change from years past. "I know that this sounds difficult and this sounds crazy to a lot of people. But I think this kind of discipline and rigor that we’re going to need to put into place if we’re going to have any chance of not seeing a spike."