7 Ways to Bend the Curve this Holiday Season
SPONSORED — With each passing day, researchers are getting closer and closer to achieving an effective COVID-19 vaccine. Until then, limiting social gatherings of any size together for the next 3-4 weeks can exponentially help bend the curve. These 7 tips can help keep you and your family safe during the 2020 holiday season.
COVID-19 Safety Protocol
- Reduce the chance of spreading the virus by being conscious of socially distancing, keeping all touch points sanitized and keeping your mask on at all times when in public. People are doing great when running to the grocery store or accomplishing their errands. However, many are making the common mistake and inconsistently wearing their face masks when getting together with friends or extended family. When you’re around people you don’t live with, always remember to mask up.
- Want to help contact tracing efforts? Washington State now has an app for that. By enabling the WA Notify app on your iOS or Android device you are contributing important information to a database that can help protect and prevent the virus spread amongst the public. The app alerts users if they may have been exposed to COVID-19. It is completely private, and doesn’t know or track who you are or where you go. This helps you to get the care you need quickly, as well as avert the spread to those around you. To learn more about the app, visit WANotify.org.
- If you are experiencing any new symptoms, by all means, stay home. Many are mistaken to think that a high fever is the sole identifier of the COVID-19 virus. However, that can be one of many signals. Other’s experience symptoms like exhaustion, a dry cough, or a new loss of taste or smell before, if at all, building up a fever. With that being said: get tested. COVID-19 testing is safe and offered at no cost to you at most locations in the area. To find a testing center near you, follow this link here.
- After getting your test, have your phone handy to answer or return calls from public health contact tracers about your results. At the same time, do not anxiously wait for public health to call. If you know you’ve been in close contact to someone who recently tested positive, take action by quarantining yourself at home and seek testing 5-7 days after your possible exposure.
- By eliminating the usual amount of holiday travel and celebrating with household members only, we can enjoy the festive time with our loved ones without lasting consequences. Do not rely on a negative test simply to gather with family and friends. Research shows that the infection timeline varies and symptoms can range from 2 to 14 days after the exposure. Simply avoid putting others’ lives at risk. Have a small and intimate holiday with those within your household.
- Although we may not be able to have all of our regular holiday traditions with friends and family, now more than ever is the perfect time to begin new traditions for years to come. Ring in the festivities by participating in safe and socially distant yuletide activities. Enjoy drive-thru holiday light tours like Lights of Christmas in Stanwood with your family or outdoor activities like Everett’s Winter ride, Bothell’s Winter Porch Parade, or the Chase the Grinch Outta Snohomish Fun Run. There’s a map of all the festivities happening in Snohomish County online here. The idea is to avoid confined indoor spaces. If participating in an outdoor event is not possible and you choose to attend an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, and fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase the space’s ventilation by opening windows and doors if possible.
- Coming together as a community during the holidays has never been more important. Support local businesses for gift giving and order take out from your favorite neighborhood restaurants. Continue spreading holiday cheer by seeking out non-profits in your community that are helping residents and families in need during this difficult time. You can also make cards to mail to a long-term care facility in your neighborhood for those spending the holidays alone and to missed loved ones across the miles. The Snohomish Health District also has some projects online at snohd.org/activities.
Socially Distant Holiday Cheer
As the holiday season quickly approaches, the global pandemic has left many wary when it comes to travel, however, adjusting to the new normal should not keep your spirits down this holiday season. Many cities and businesses have gone above and beyond to adapt to the new safety protocols.
With the latest COVID-19 research and safety procedures in place, we can help lower the curve together. Continuously wash or sanitize your hands, especially the hands of little ones. Keep your mask convenient and remain 6 feet apart from others in both outdoor and enclosed spaces. Again, stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantine away from others. For more information regarding the virus, please visit snohd.org/covid.