(Placerville, CA) – El Dorado County Public Health wishes to remind residents and visitors how to stay safe and healthy over the holidays. "The change in season and upcoming holidays prompt gatherings and behaviors that increase many health and safety risks," said El Dorado County Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. "Taking simple preventive measures can reduce the chances of the holidays being ruined by things like improperly cooked turkeys, drunk driving, or respiratory infections, and can also ensure everyone stays safe."
Williams recommends the following basic health and safety tips for the holidays:
According to Williams, COVID remains the biggest worry for many people this holiday season, and for good reason. "COVID is still the biggest infectious disease threat in El Dorado County. Different virus variants have emerged over time. The current predominant variant ('Delta') is more than twice as contagious as earlier variants. It may also result in more severe illness," said Williams. "Even though many people have been vaccinated against COVID, or have been infected with it or both, the Delta variant poses some threat to everyone, and especially to the elderly and people with health conditions that put them at greater risk. For those who were vaccinated in early 2021, we know immunity can wane over time, and booster doses are now recommended. In addition, many people in El Dorado County and elsewhere still remain unvaccinated."
In addition to risks directly associated with the virus, other factors increase the risk of acquiring a COVID infection. "The change in weather and fewer hours of sunshine encourage people to be indoors," said Williams. "The holidays also encourage people to travel and to gather indoors with others. The urge to spend time with friends and loved ones makes it hard to say no to gatherings even when doing so could potentially put others at risk."
People who gather with family or friends from outside their own households can take measures to keep everyone safe, even those (such as grandparents) who may be more vulnerable to COVID, says Williams. The following tips are recommended, even for those who have some immunity (from vaccination or from being previously infected), but especially for those who do not:
For more information, read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's or the California Department of Public Health's tips for safe holiday gatherings.CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.htmlCDPH: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Tips-for-Protecting-Yourself-and-Others-This-Holiday-Season.aspxFor COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, see: https://myturn.ca.gov/
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