How to Enjoy the Holidays without Spreading COVID-19

Dec 11, 2023
How to Enjoy the Holidays without Spreading COVID-19
The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends. But it’s also a time when there’s a rise in the spread of viruses, like COVID-19. Keep reading for simple tips on how to slow the spread of this contagious infection. 

December is here, and along with the colder temperatures comes the busy holiday season — and the seasonal increase in viral infections. The last thing you want to do is spread COVID-19 along with season greetings, good will, and holiday cheer. 

Here at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Noxen, Wilkes Barre, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, our expert team of board-certified medical providers offers prompt, personalized care for acute upper respiratory infections, including COVID-19. 

If you or a loved one are worried about COVID-19 this holiday season, visit one of our health centers for expert advice and treatment. In the meantime, here’s a look at how you can enjoy the holidays without spreading this highly contagious virus. 

1. Keep paying attention to COVID-19

We’ve all heard a lot about COVID-19, and that makes it easy for our awareness to slip. But during the traditional cold and flu season, COVID-19 cases also start to climb. This means it’s important to stay aware and on top of COVID-19 safety. 

While vaccines and antiviral treatments for COVID-19 exist, the virus still poses a threat for many people. Older adults and individuals of all ages with certain pre-existing conditions experience hospitalization and death at much higher rates. Staying aware of COVID-19 helps prevent the spread of this virus. 

2. Stay up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccination

Like all viruses, the COVID-19 virus changes over time. That means that the COVID vaccine you got a year ago doesn’t offer as much protection against this year’s COVID-19 strains. 

This holiday season, you can protect your health, the health of your loved ones, and slow the spread of this contagious disease by getting the most recent COVID-19 booster. Keep in mind that it typically takes about a week for the protective effects of the shot to take root, so schedule your booster sooner rather than later. 

3. Stay home if you have symptoms

It’s hard to miss out on holiday fun. But if you’re experiencing any upper respiratory symptoms, it’s best to stay home and away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, like influenza and the common cold. 

Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Body aches

Keep in mind that even if you’re experiencing mild symptoms, other people with higher risk of serious illness can become quite ill if they contract the virus. For this reason, it’s always better to play it safe and isolate yourself when you’re under the weather. 

4. Encourage COVID-19 screening or masking

The holidays mean time with family and friends. To keep everyone you care about healthy, encourage your loved ones to screen themselves with at-home or in-office COVID tests before holiday gatherings. 

For those who don’t want to test, masking is a safe option. Masks help slow the spread of airborne viruses during high-risk social situations, where many people are gathered indoors, sharing the same air. 

5. Remind everyone to wash their hands

COVID-19 is primarily spread through particles in the air, but these particles can live on surfaces for some time. When your hands come in contact with one of these surfaces, such as a doorknob or handle, and you touch your face, you can contract COVID-19.

As such, another way to help slow the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season is to be sure to wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water, and wash your hands for 20 seconds or longer. It’s a good idea to wash your hands when you first arrive at a holiday gathering, as well as when you get home from one. 

Get expert COVID-19 advice

For personalized recommendations or to get your COVID-19 booster, it’s a good idea to talk to a medical expert. At Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, our team reviews your medical history, lifestyle factors, and personal preferences to provide tailored guidance just for you. 

Enjoy the holidays without COVID-19 this season by scheduling an appointment at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, today. 

Our practice takes most major insurance policies, and we use a sliding fee scale for qualifying patients. If transportation is a concern, ask us about our complementary van service!