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Public Health - News

Posted on: November 22, 2021

Celebrate Safely this Holiday Season: Take Steps to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

holiday news release

Jefferson County, Colo. — This holiday season, make sure the COVID-19 virus isn’t invited to the party. As our community prepares to gather with family, friends and loved ones over the coming winter holidays, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) encourages everyone to take precautions to keep their gatherings safe, healthy and filled with joy. 

“We know our Jeffco family is ready to get back to the things that make holidays merry and bright — from seeing our loved ones to eating delicious food to making memories and honoring traditions. We still can do the things we love with the people we love this holiday season, but we have to take extra care to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director at JCPH. “The heartbreaking reality is that COVID-19 is still rapidly spreading in our community. Jefferson County recently surpassed 1,000 fatalities, and statistically, more than one Jeffco resident dies each day from this virus. The holidays are all about love — and the best way you can show love for the people in your life is protecting them and yourself from this terrible disease.”

As you gather for holiday celebrations, JCPH urges everyone to take several easy steps to stay safe: 

  • Limit gatherings to those who have been vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is available for all residents age 5 and older at convenient and FREE locations across the county. 
    • While it is too late to be fully protected via vaccination from COVID-19 before Thanksgiving (Nov. 25) or Hanukkah (begins Nov. 29), there is still time to get vaccinated to receive some protection (even full protection, depending on the vaccine type and date received) before gathering for New Year’s Eve and other late December holidays, such as Christmas (Dec. 25) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26). 
    • In addition, you and your loved ones can feel more peace of mind with the added safety of COVID-19 boosters, available to all Colorado residents age 18 and older. 
    • Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination and make an appointment as soon as possible. 
  • Wear a mask and practice physical distancing while doing your holiday shopping, and any time you are out in a public, indoor space. Whenever possible, use curbside pickup for groceries to avoid busy retail environments.
  • Ask all guests to get tested for COVID-19 before coming to a gathering. Regardless of vaccination status, anyone can be exposed to and spread COVID-19. Numerous free testing locations are available across Jeffco and the entire state, and Coloradans can also order free at-home testing kits if accessing a testing site isn’t possible.
  • Whenever possible, host gatherings outdoors and with smaller groups of people. Outdoor gatherings are safer than those held indoors, and the fewer people who attend a gathering, the fewer chances for transmission of COVID-19. 
    • Keeping gatherings shorter also reduces the risk of COVID-19.
    • If you do gather indoors, open windows and doors if it is safe to do so, and run an air-conditioner, heater or an air purifier to improve ventilation. 
  • Ask all guests at gatherings to stay home if they are sick or have any symptoms — or known exposures — of COVID-19.
  • If traveling, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidance for traveling safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines include delaying travel until fully vaccinated, wearing masks in indoor public transportation areas (required by federal law) and making sure you know the local COVID-19 regulations of your destination.
  • Keep a list, and check it twice! While the virus doesn’t particularly care who is naughty or nice, knowing the names and contact information of everyone at your holiday gathering can help make sure everyone is notified quickly in the case of a COVID-19 exposure.
  • Before gathering, assess your risk level and make decisions from there. Every Jeffco resident should make informed decisions before gathering with others outside their household and should limit unnecessary risks. It’s OK to say no to a social situation you don’t feel comfortable in!

To learn more about COVID-19, including how you can stay safe and protect those around you this holiday season, please visit our website at www.jeffco.us/coronavirus. Happy holidays from all of us at JCPH!

 

About Jefferson County Public Health 

Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.

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