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Healthline: What the CDC Says About Staying Safe This Holiday Season

By Julia Ries

With the holidays fast approaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of recommendations detailing ways people can keep their seasonal gatherings safe.

They focus on many of the safety precautions that have been suggested throughout the pandemic — staying outdoors, keeping a distance, and wearing masks.

The CDC also introduced a few new strategies, like looking at your guests’ behavior in recent weeks, evaluating community transmission in your area, and limiting the size and duration of gatherings.

1. Take your gatherings outside

There’s plenty of evidence showing that outdoor activities are typically much safer than indoor ones.

The coronavirus is airborne and spreads readily indoors, particularly in buildings with poor ventilation.

“When people are outside, they can physically distance and airflow is increased, so this decreases the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Jennifer Schuster, the director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

2. Look at community transmission

Looking at your state and county’s community transmission, or an estimation of how prevalent COVID-19 is in the area, is a good way to gauge what the local risk is like.

People who live in or are traveling from an area with higher rates of transmission are more likely to have COVID-19, according to Schuster.

3. Limit the duration of gatherings

How sick a person gets with COVID-19 largely depends on how much of the virus they were exposed to and how long they were exposed. In general, the less time people are exposed to someone with COVID-19, the lower their risk of getting sick.

There’s no magic number that’ll guarantee a gathering will be safe, says Schuster.

It boils down to a number of factors: airflow, ventilation, viral load, a person’s susceptibility, and whether people are wearing masks.


Read the full story via Healthline 

Learn more about COVID-19 from Children's Mercy