CDC issues official guidance to safely celebrate holiday season

CDC issues official guidance to safely celebrate holiday season
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially issued guidance Friday for celebrating the holiday season while protecting the health of those gathering, noting that different households of family and friends often intermingle during the holidays, including those of different age groups. 

A spokesperson from the CDC told The Hill, "We fully expect that families and friends will gather for the holidays this year and we have updated our guidance on how to best to stay safe over the holidays. The best way to minimize COVID risk and ensure that people can safely gather is to get vaccinated or get the booster, if you’re eligible."

Holiday season is expected to be amplified this year from "pent-up demand," as previously noted by United Airlines when it added 3,500 daily domestic flights to its routes starting in December.

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The CDC has highlighted that the best way to remain safe and healthy while getting together with loved ones is to get vaccinated, if eligible. It emphasized that having every attendee vaccinated was particularly important for protecting those who are ineligible for a shot, such as young children. 

It also noted other ways to be safe while enjoying holiday celebrations. The CDC recommends wearing well-fit masks over your nose and mouth in public, indoor spaces if you are not fully vaccinated; it also recommends wearing a mask indoors, even if you are fully vaccinated, if you are in a community with substantial to high transmission. 

The CDC stated in its guidance to not attend or host a gathering if you are having COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested if you are symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

There is additional recommendation for those who are traveling for the holidays. For those unvaccinated, the CDC has specific domestic and international travel recommendations.

Additionally, if you are a vaccinated person in a group or family of unvaccinated people, the CDC also presents guidance to prevent COVID-19 transmission and infection.

Special considerations the CDC noted were to remember people who have health conditions or are taking medication that may weaken their immune systems so that the vaccine may not fully protect them.

It said that those individuals should take extra precautions to remain healthy, as should their household members, especially if a household member or visitor is unvaccinated. 

When gathering with people from multiple households, particularly from other parts of the nation, extra precautions should be implemented and children under the age of 2 should never wear a mask. 

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