With pandemic fatigue lingering and summertime outdoor fun behind us, more and more Americans are hoping to celebrate the upcoming holiday season in person with family and friends—many for the first time in almost two years.
As tempting as that sounds, one read of the CDC’s latest updates to their recommended holiday celebration guidelines may prompt you to change those plans. The new updates encourage all Americans, even those who are vaccinated to continue to celebrate virtually, if possible.
“Attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC states in their guidelines. “The safest way to celebrate is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others.”
In lieu of in-person events, the CDC has listed their suggestions for how to celebrate virtually and still make the holiday memories last. The list includes hosting a “virtual dance party”, “host a video chat party with family and friends” and decorate your home with holiday décor, even if no one’s coming over.
This likely won’t be welcomed new for many who are fully vaccinated and looking forward to gathering indoors in person again with people outside of their households. If you must gather for the holidays indoors, the CDC recommends everyone get vaccinated beforehand, wear a mask and find ways to bring in fresh air, like “opening windows and doors” and “using a window fan in one of the open windows” to pull in fresh air. This will be easier said than done for those who live in colder climates, but it’s important to note that the CDC is recommending air circulation be a priority if you’ll be celebrating with others indoors this season.
The CDC’s stance remains that COVID-19 vaccinations and outdoor gatherings are still the safest ways to prevent the spread of the virus. But, they also note that in areas where COVID-19 rates are high, it is still recommended you “wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.”
Click here to read the full updated holiday celebration guidelines now.