Gathering with family this Christmas? Here’s how to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continue to swell just two days before Christmas. Many are concerned about bringing sickness home for the holidays.

News 12 Staff

Dec 23, 2021, 10:10 PM

Updated 904 days ago

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Concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continue to swell just two days before Christmas. Many are concerned about bringing sickness home for the holidays.
“I’m very excited families will be celebrating together. It’s important for not only children but for adults and elderly,” says Dr. Sharon Nachman, of the Stony Brook University Infectious Disease Department.
But Nachman says that families should gather safely and not take any chances.
“If you’re not feeling well, don’t come to family gatherings. Sniffles, cough – it’s not the time to say, ‘It’s nothing, I’ll come to the party,’” Nachman says.
“This makes it super easy. A little time in line, in the cold is worth it to find out if it’s safe to gather with family,” says Ailene McGuire, of Hoboken.
Testing is one way to ease concerns. But it is tough to get a COVID-19 test in New Jersey right now. There was a very long line for testing in Hoboken on Thursday. Most were there for a pre-holiday test, just in case.
“We are traveling for Christmas, and I just wanted to get tested quick before we do that with the family,” says Brandon McKeowan, of Hoboken.
Even if the tests are negative and even if everyone in the family feels OK, experts say that one can’t play it too safe when it comes to Omicron.
Those gatherings in groups should consider keeping masks on in the house when company is over. When eating or drinking, people should be spaced out or even sitting at separate tables. Also consider keeping doors and windows open.
“Air circulation in a room is really important. A room that has all the windows and doors closed – much easier to spread virus. So, if you can keep the windows open, keep a door open, that’s really going to help protect,” Nachman says.
Nachman and others in the medical community say that the best protection is still to get vaccinated and get the booster shot when eligible.


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