Are you more worried about infection rates than what to serve with the turkey this holiday season?
Well, you’re not alone.
COVID shows no signs of slowing down as we reach the holidays, and like many people, you probably had to rework your holiday plans in order to stay safe.
However, there is a way you and your family can stay safe and still have fun this season.
Read on to hear our must-know Christmas safety tips for this year, so you can stay virus-free this December.
Christmas Safety Tips Before Small Gatherings
This holiday season, it’s best that you keep your gatherings small. You should try to limit these gatherings to people who live with you, whether they are family or friends. Once you introduce people from outside these bubbles, you increase the risk of exposure exponentially.
You can reduce the risks by utilizing a few strategies that can be done both at the gathering and beforehand. The first is related to the behavior of people who are attending the gathering.
Make sure they know prior to the event how to model positive behaviors. These include adhering to social distancing, wearing masks, washing your hands, and not touching your face. Your guests should also limit their exposure to public transport hubs, such as airports and bus stations, en route to the party.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC), the infection rates in the surrounding area should be taken into account when hosting a small gathering. Keep an eye on the level of infection in your local community, and in the area in which guests have traveled. Make an informed decision on whether you should hold the gathering at all if levels are high.
Holiday Safety Tips at Small Gatherings
Choose an appropriate location for your event. Outdoor spaces have much more ventilation, but it may not always be possible to hold gatherings outdoors for a long period. Any indoor spaces should be large and open with adequate airflow.
Try to limit the length of the gathering, reducing the risk of infection amongst participants should someone be ill. Ideally, people should be in close proximity to each other for no more than 15 minutes, as recommended by the CDC.
During the gathering, make sure safety measures are enforced. People should be wearing masks, distancing, and sanitizing their hands. If alcohol is consumed, people must ensure they do not neglect safety measures while intoxicated.
Who Should Not Attend?
Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or is in recovery but has not yet had a clearance test should not attend. Additionally, those who have been experiencing any symptoms (including minor symptoms) or are waiting for test results should also stay away. People in any of these situations could be highly contagious and could easily spread the coronavirus to any along the way.
Even those who have not had the virus or exhibit any symptoms can still present a huge risk to others. For example, if a person has been in contact with anyone who has had the illness in the last 14 days, the CDC recommends that they also avoid attending social events. It’s important to note that anyone who is on the list of at-risk people should avoid gatherings. This includes people with current or prior health risks and illnesses.
Food and Drink Christmas Safety
Food and drinks are probably one of the elements of Christmas that you don’t have to worry about as much. Currently, there is no evidence showing that COVID-19 can be passed through food and drink. However, it can pass via contact with utensils, packaging, and other methods, though this is not the main way it transfers.
Ensure that masks are worn when serving and preparing food, and are worn by anyone who is assisting. Try to avoid self serve, buffet-style catering as this encourages people to share items and gather at service areas. Wash any dishes in hot, soapy water immediately after they have been used.
Traveling Over the Festive Season
This year, traveling does not make for a safe holiday. The further you travel — and the longer you are traveling — increases your risk of catching an illness. Even in your own car, you may still have to visit gas stations and make stays in hotels. This raises the chances of you coming into contact with infected surfaces.
If travel is essential, then being in your own vehicle is the safest method. Any traveling with people you do not live with, or using public transportation, is strongly advised against. However, if you must fly somewhere, make sure you know what to do before flying during this pandemic.
Apart from the journey itself, you should check your destination prior to travel. See whether cases are increasing in surrounding areas, as well in your own city before leaving. If so, you might want to reconsider your plans.
If the person you are visiting, or someone you are traveling with is at increased risk of infection, avoid travel. You can check to see the state of hospitals in the area you are visiting, so you know if they are being overwhelmed. Finally, look into any traveler restrictions on places or states you are visiting or going through.
What to Do if You Are Exposed to COVID-19 During the Holidays
Once you have been exposed to COVID-19, or suspect that someone you have encountered has the virus, you should start to quarantine. This quarantine should last for 14 days, or until the person you encountered has had a test and it has returned as negative. In those 14 days, you must self isolate and stay away from others, especially if they are at increased risk of infection.
Stay wary of symptoms which may include coughs, breathing difficulties, and a high fever. If any of these occur, cancel all travel arrangements. Should you develop symptoms, you may want to consider having a test to verify.
If you are in a situation where it is impossible to stay away from other people, you should try to keep as far away from possible from them when you do meet. Wear a mask, and keep a hand sanitizer on deck. Watch for any symptoms in other people who live in your household or with whom you cross paths.
In summary, limit the number of people at gatherings, cut down on travel, and follow guidances on sanitation and social distancing. With care and attention, there is no reason that these safety tips won’t help make your Christmas just as enjoyable as previous Christmases.
Keeping clean and safe is a must this season. That is why palmpalm provides solutions to all your sanitizing needs, with a range of products from hand sanitizing gels to wipes. Visit our catalog to stock up, so we can help protect you in the coming festivities.
And don’t forget to have yourself a merry little Christmas!