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COVID-19 safety reminders ahead of Thanksgiving gatherings

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:48 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Now that everyone 18 and older can get their COVID-19 booster shot, the Central Shenandoah Health District is seeing more people jump back in line for theirs, especially as people get ready to be around family and friends for Thanksgiving.

According to the CDC, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk with loved ones is getting vaccinated if you are eligible, but it offers other safety tips too, like wearing a mask in public and indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, the CDC suggests wearing a mask in indoor settings if there is substantial to high transmission in the community, or to just stay outdoors.

“If you happen to be indoors with a lot of people and mixed households who may not be vaccinated, then your risk of exposure increases, so just kind of taking stock of your personal risk and exposure ratio,” Laura Lee Wight, with the Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD), said.

Wight said it is important to check in on the vaccination status of your family members ahead of time and ask what COVID-19 safety measures will be taken. Wight and the CDC both suggest that if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not host or attend a holiday gathering.

“If you end up having symptoms right before Thanksgiving, really consider not participating in person and see if there is a virtual option for you,” Wight said.

If you feel sick the days following Thanksgiving, Wight recommends you get tested as soon as possible, whether at a local pharmacy, a health department or by purchasing an at-home COVID-19 test.

For more information from the CDC on holiday gatherings, click here.

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