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Stay safe and healthy this holiday season

It’s no surprise that the United States, and Northeast Missouri, has seen an increase of COVID-19 cases nationwide over the past few weeks. Additionally, we’re heading into influenza season and have already started seeing a rise in flu cases this fall. With these illnesses spreading quickly, can be difficult to make decisions on how to spend the holidays.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people stay home and celebrate with those in their immediate household. If you’re worried you’ll be missing out on things, this is a great time to introduce new traditions or set up a game day. If you want to spend time with others outside of your home, we encourage you to consider alternatives to in-person celebrations. For example, set up a virtual Thanksgiving where you all can come together to eat and catch up from your respective homes.

If you decided to celebrate with those outside of your household, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided some tips on how to do so safely, though there’s no guarantee you won’t come down with COVID-19 or influenza. The basic guidelines still apply – make sure you’re wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands often. It’s also important that you receive your flu vaccine to protect yourself and those you’ll come in contact with. If possible, have each household provide their own food, utensils and drinks; otherwise, make sure to limit the number of people around the food and make sure they’re practicing food safety. If the weather is nice, it is a good idea for everyone to enjoy their meals outside while continuing to social distance.

If you plan to travel and visit others for the impending holiday, the best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the current situation there. Pay attention to travel restrictions and any guidelines that are in place in the area you plan to travel to. More so than usual, it’s incredibly important for you to wear a mask and keep six feet between yourself and those not in your household. Also, make sure to pack plenty of hand sanitizer and wash your hands often.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!



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