As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending families celebrate the holidays at home. But if you’ve made other plans, there are steps you can take to help keep you safe.
As always, we stress the importance of keeping safety at the top of your priority list. So, we’ve put together some COVID-19 and general safety considerations to think about this holiday season.
Considerations for hosting or attending a holiday gathering
Here’s a few ideas to help keep your loved ones safe, while still enjoying the holiday festivities.
Move your holiday celebration to a remote forum by using a video conference tool. Thanks to technology, you can still open gifts and have a family meal together all from a safe distance.
Limit the number of people attending an in-person event from different households.
Require everyone to wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose.
Avoid direct contact (e.g. hugs and handshakes) and try to remain at least six feet apart when possible.
Opt to have your gathering outside. If your event is indoors, take steps to increase ventilation by opening windows and doors, or by setting your central air and heating system to continuously circulate.
Agree to avoid contact with people outside of your households for 14 days before your holiday gathering.
You can find more guidance from the CDC by checking out its considerations for events and gatherings.
Considerations for traveling during COVID
Traveling might increase your risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Before traveling this holiday season, be sure to consider whether anyone in your household or anyone you’ll be visiting is at an increased risk of serious illness from COVID (e.g. older adults or people with medical conditions). You should also determine if your area or your destination is experiencing high or increasing rates of COVID before traveling.
If you choose to travel this holiday season, wear a mask when in public settings or at group gatherings. And position yourself at least six feet (about two arm lengths) away from others. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
Other holiday safety tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments across the nation respond to nearly 1,000 home fires per year that started with a Christmas tree or decorations.
Here are some quick fire prevention tips to keep your family safe this holiday season.
Holiday decorations. Use flameless candles near flammable decorations. Choose decorations that are labeled flame resistant or flame retardant.
Lit candles. Make sure lit candles are at a safe distance from decorations. Be sure to blow them out before you leave the house or go to bed.
Christmas lights. Not all lights are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, so make sure you pay attention to the intended use listed on the box. Don’t use lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. When hanging lights, use clips instead of nails to avoid damaging the cord.
Christmas trees. Place your tree at least three feet away from nearby heat sources (e.g. fireplace, candles, heat vents, etc.). If you have a real tree, add water to the tree stand daily. The more dried out your tree is, the more flammable it becomes.
No matter the season, CPR, AED and First Aid Training is always a good idea. Find a training center near you.