From Our Team
Posted on November 30, 2020 by Dr. Michael Kelly
This holiday season will be like none other El Paso County has ever experienced. Many of us miss friends and families. The holidays present a tempting and traditional opportunity to gather, make new memories, and celebrate. This year, it’s not advised to gather with friends or family who don’t live with you.
It’s tough. But we have to stay strong, healthy, and most importantly, unified for our vulnerable family members and friends.
Members of the El Paso United COVID-19 Transition Task Force recognize that El Paso’s healthcare workers are fighting laboriously on the frontlines of COVID-19. Dr. Alison Days, a task force member, notes they would appreciate all families to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by celebrating with only those who live in the same house or virtually on Zoom or FaceTime.
Although the holidays are a time to reconnect with those matter who most to us, connecting while staying apart will slow the spread of COVID-19 and help patients, healthcare workers, and someone’s vulnerable loved one.
While in-person gatherings with anyone from outside your household are not recommended, these guidelines from the CDC can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 this holiday season.
If you are going to have company for the holidays, anyone who has the symptoms of COVID-19 should not come. Limit the invite list to only a few people and consider hosting the event outside. If hosting an event outdoors is not an option, make sure to open windows and doors to increase ventilation. Consider rearranging furniture to create at least six feet of distance between chairs and sofas. If you’re hosting, let guests know you’ll be wearing a mask and ask them to do the same.
No matter the size of a gathering with people from outside your home, whatever the celebration, make sure each guest is wearing a mask. Invest in extra masks just in case someone forgets theirs. Also, make sure your guests are washing their hands when they enter your home. All these will help reduce the risk for spread.
If you’re going to somebody else’s house, ask what precautions they’ll be taking; If you’re not comfortable with their answers or just think it’s not a good idea, it’s okay not to go.
Every family is different, but what all families have in common is that we always want to protect our loved ones. Think twice when getting together for Thanksgiving or any other social events with family and friends this coming week. Of course, we all want to be with loved ones, but in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have to do it a little differently to reduce the risk for you and for me.
Visit https://www.reducetherisk915.org for more ways on how you can reduce the risk this holiday season and for other ways on navigating COVID-19 and other challenges during this unprecedented time.
Dr. Michael Kelly is the Vice President of Programs at the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. He is writing on behalf of the El Paso United COVID-19 Transition Task Force which is made up of medical experts, elected officials and non-profit organizations from across the Paso del Norte Region.
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