Tips for keeping everyone safe from COVID-19 this holiday season

Tips for keeping everyone safe from COVID-19 this holiday season
Posted at 9:59 AM, Oct 21, 2020

We're about a month from thanksgiving and Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning that we may need to change our plans with COVID-19 cases increasing.

His three adult daughters aren't coming home because they're worried about exposing their dad, who's 79 years old.

Dr. Syra Madad has been a leader in the response to the coronavirus in New York. She says nationwide we are in the third peak of the virus but still in the first wave. It's the first wave, because cases never went down enough to reach the baseline.

“I think everybody, including myself, we are all tired of COVID-19,” said Madad. “We're all tired of constantly socially distancing, wearing a mask, but this is our new normal. This is our reality, and this is what we have to do to not only protect ourselves, but our family, our loved ones and our community.”

She says it is possible to see family or friends safely for the holidays, but you have to plan ahead. First, she recommends quarantining for 14 days before you see them.

“Testing does not give you a free pass in terms of, OK I’ve tested negative, that means I don't have to quarantine for 14 days. That means I can safely merge my social bubble. That is absolutely not the case,” said Madad.

She also says you need to consider if anyone you are visiting is high risk and do your homework about the area you are traveling to. How many cases have there been in a week to two-week period? Also, look at hospital capacity.

And you should consider additional precautions once you arrive.

“Even if you've merged your social bubble and you've done that 14-day quarantine period, it's just always best to try to limit the risk in terms of contracting and spreading COVID-19, just in case and so things to do on top of that is try to have these activities outdoor as much as possible,” said Madad.

The national Home Safe for the Holidays initiative recently launched by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group is calling for more testing.

It says governors need to ensure test results are coming back in 48 hours or less to prevent small incidents from becoming outbreaks.

Madad says looking at how much testing is being done in the area you're considering traveling to is important in making your decision.