In preparation for the 2021 holiday season — the second to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just issued guidelines. 

Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other celebrations will look different again, but with a few precautions, you can still gather with your family. Here are some steps you can take this holiday season to ensure the safety of you and your family. Join WeShield as we analyze the CDC’s COVID-19 Guidelines for the 2021 Holidays so that you and your loved ones can celebrate safely.

Get Vaccinated

“Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible,” the CDC says in its holiday guidance. “Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children, by getting yourself, and other eligible people around them vaccinated.”

CDC statistics show that over three-quarters of eligible Americans have already received one dose of the three COVID-19 vaccines, which are generally safe and effective. So despite the vaccines not being available in time for last year’s holiday season, they’re shaping up to be the most critical factor in ensuring this year’s festivities are safe.

In addition, other health authorities support the importance of vaccinations. “If you’re vaccinated, and your family members are vaccinated, those who are eligible,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, recently declared on ABC’s This Week, “you can enjoy the holidays.”

Wear Face Masks When Indoors and Celebrate Outdoors if You Can

The CDC warns that outdoor celebrations can be safer than indoor celebrations and that you should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. In addition, masks are highly recommended whenever you’re spending time with people from outside your household.

As always, wearing a mask properly is essential. The CDC advises people to cover their mouths and noses with masks when in public places. “Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission,” states the CDC.

Wearing a mask reduces the risk of COVID-19 exposure both for the wearer and for those nearby. “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,” the CDC guidelines state. Face masks, however, are not recommended for children under two years of age.

If Traveling, Be Safe

According to the CDC, if you plan to travel over the holiday season, you should do so as safely as possible. “Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation,” the CDC explains. 

Travel is even riskier if you’re not vaccinated. As a result, the CDC urges all eligible individuals to receive their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

The CDC recommends getting tested before traveling, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and washing your hands for those who are not fully vaccinated. In addition, you should take the COVID-19 test upon arrival and self-quarantine for at least a week after your arrival, even if the result is negative.

“By working together,” the CDC writes, “we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends.”

Get Tested Whenever in Doubt

According to the CDC, do not host or attend a gathering if you are sick or have COVID-like symptoms. You can ensure you do not have COVID by checking. 

“Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19,” the CDC writes. Breakthroughs are still rare, but they do happen. Therefore, this recommendation applies to all, regardless of vaccination status.

As a company committed to providing our clients with the most up-to-date, accurate information, WeShield obtains information from credible sources, including the Center for Disease Control.  Make sure to follow our blog as we monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide high-quality PPE and medical supplies to the public.