Safe practices for a safe Holiday season, from Cook County
As Thanksgiving approaches, we wanted to wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.
In order to ensure your health, we are sharing our holiday guidelines for safe celebrations and travel. Please take these proven precautions in all of your holiday celebrations.
The proven best way to protect yourself and other is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. Further, if you are age 18 or older and eligible for a booster shot, we urge you to take advantage of the further level of protection.
Anyone who is not fully vaccinated, meaning it has not been at least two weeks since the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, should be masked indoors at all times except when eating or drinking.
It is also recommended to test within 24 hours before being with others not in your household.
Here are other safe ways to celebrate the holidays:
- Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
- Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.
- Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.
- Outdoors is safer than indoors.
- Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
- If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
- Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
If you are traveling for a holiday or event:
- If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.
- If you will be traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options.
- Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
- If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
- Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.
By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends.
Click here to view the Cook County Health Department Video or use the widget below to watch the video on this website.
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