A Parliament of Owls: Holiday Health Information from Weston’s Board of Health
Did you know a group of owls is called a “parliament”? In the case of the Weston Owl, a Parliament is a guest post on this page. The following has been guest-written by Michele Schuckel, Weston’s COVID-19 Response Manager.
Safer Ways to Celebrate Holidays 2021 from the Town of Weston Board of Health
Holiday traditions are important for many of us, maybe even more so as the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to disrupt our lives. Social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and improve our immune systems. There are several ways to connect over holiday traditions and protect ourselves from COVID-19.
Because many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you’re eligible. If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test, masking) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
- Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
- Communicate openly with family and friends about your vaccination status and that of your guests. Discuss your risk tolerance. Plan for what to do if anyone has symptoms (delay travel and seek testing.) Consider buying rapid antigen tests for home use.
- Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.
- Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission (this includes most of Massachusetts at this time).
- Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings.
- Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
- If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host, or attend a gathering.
- Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
- If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.
- Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation under Federal Order and follow international travel recommendations.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
- Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.
By working together, we can enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends.
Have a positive test or symptoms?
Want to know more about COVID-19 vaccine or boosters?
Ask a nurse in Weston!
Call (781) 786-5033 or email COVIDquestions@WestonMA.gov