How to protect you and your loved ones before, during, and after holiday gatherings

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– While you may be tied up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to take a step back and consider how you plan to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 this year. 

“I think we all have to take some responsibility even if we’ve chosen not to get vaccinated to make sure when we go to other peoples homes or places of business even at this point that we really take some responsibility,” Syracuse University School of Information Studies Professor Jennifer Stromer-Galley said.

The best layer of protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine, so making sure you’re vaccinated and boosted if eligible before you head out the door is a good idea.

If your relative isn’t vaccinated, Stromer-Galley said asking them to get a COVID-19 test before the gathering is a fair request, adding that at-home over-the-counter tests are becoming more readily available.

If you’re traveling by car, plane, or train to get to your holiday gathering, it’s wise to keep the essentials like extra masks, wipes, and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

“My advice is to think about your own boundaries, what it is you’re comfortable with, what you’re not comfortable with. Talk to your hosts, talk to your family and friends, and just set some basic expectations,” Stromer-Galley said. 

The bottom line is to do what makes you feel comfortable, even if that means being the only one around the Christmas tree that’s masked up.

And don’t forget, afterward, you can always go get a COVID test to make sure you’re in the clear. 

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