Given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, you may be wondering whether to go ahead with your holiday gathering plans. Omicron is highly transmissible, and immunity from previous COVID-19 infections or two-dose vaccination appears less effective at preventing infection from this variant.
Your best protection against Delta, Omicron, and all other variants of COVID-19 is still vaccination. If you’re fully vaccinated and have gotten a booster dose, or if you’ve gotten vaccinated after recovering from COVID-19 infection, then you have the best protection against severe COVID-19 illness and hospitalization. But if you're 65 and older, have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, or aren't yet fully vaccinated, you are at risk for serious COVID-19 illness. If you or anyone you know meets these criteria, you should take extra precautions to protect them from COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
Many of us are looking forward to spending time with friends and family during the upcoming winter holidays. But no in-person gathering is risk free - the safest gatherings are still virtual. If you plan to host or attend an in-person holiday gathering, here’s a checklist to help you gauge the level of risk.
The more of these precautions you can check off, the safer your gathering will be. If you can only check a few boxes, the gathering you’re attending or hosting is risky.
This list is not exhaustive! For more holiday gathering safety tips in multiple languages, check out DOH’s Safer Gatherings page. Regardless how many boxes you’ve checked, make sure you monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after the event.