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Stay Healthy & Protect Against COVID this Holiday Season

The holidays are here, and unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused our celebrations to look quite different, or be skipped completely. If you are considering visiting with friends or family, or still need to visit stores for last-minute holiday shopping, we have some tips based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help you stay healthy and protect yourself against COVID-19.

Gathering Safely

Anyone visiting from a household outside of your own would be considered a gathering. If you’re planning an event, consider your local COVID-19 infection rates to determine if that may be a safe choice or if you should postpone. Limit your guest list as much as possible so you can easily accommodate six foot social distancing. Also, if you know some potential guests have not been adhering to CDC guidelines on a regular basis, you may want to leave them out of the in-person visit to lower the potential risk to yourself and others. Be sure to avoid any direct contact with one another, including handshakes and hugs.

When possible, take your celebration outdoors, and encourage everyone to wear a mask over their mouth and nose unless eating or drinking. Food and drinks should also be brought individually or per family – do not serve food in a potluck style. Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is showing symptoms, is awaiting test results, may have been exposed within the last 14 days, or is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should not host or join any in-person gatherings at any point.

The best way to visit with friends and family that poses no health risk at all would be virtually. Planning a video call is a great way to talk face-to-face, and even enjoy a meal together.

Safe Shopping

Online shopping is highly recommended. If your local stores offer curbside pickup, it’s an easy way to get what you need without having to wait for an item to be shipped to you. If you are truly in a pinch for that last-minute gift, or need to do some grocery shopping and curbside pickup is unavailable, there are ways to minimize your risk of exposure to the coronavirus. Always wear your mask when in a public setting and where social distancing is difficult. Try to visit stores during hours when there may be smaller crowds, such as early in the morning, or later in the evening.

Disinfect your cart or basket, whether with your own disinfecting wipes or ones provided by the store. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands, and make sure you are staying at least six feet away from others while in line. Try not to touch any products throughout the store unless you plan on purchasing.

When you are finished shopping, use hand sanitizer right away, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water when you arrive home.

As always, if you are feeling sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home to prevent potentially spreading the virus to others.

Make Safety a Priority this Holiday Season

Practicing good hygiene has become more of a priority this year, from proper handwashing to cleaning and disinfecting your home regularly. Of course, these should be things we do even when we are not experiencing a pandemic to help keep viruses and bacteria out of our homes and bodies. Although the holidays may feel more challenging as we adapt or cancel our celebrations, remember that it is all in an effort to keep one another safe and healthy.

At Midwest Express Clinic, we want to help ensure you and your family are healthy through the holidays and beyond. We have COVID-19 testing available at our locations, and comprehensive, walk-in healthcare services when you need them.

From all of us at Midwest Express Clinic, we hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday!