Oklahoma City health experts issue guidelines for holiday travel

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While this is the time of year when many families gather together for the holidays, Christmas may look a little different in 2020.

Right now, thousands of Oklahomans are battling COVID-19 infections and hundreds of those patients are currently in the hospital.

Health experts have stressed the importance of maintaining a distance from others and wearing a mask to slow the spread of the virus, but many families say they are not going to let a global pandemic stop them from celebrating the holidays.

Officials say you should be aware that indoor gatherings pose more risk than outdoor gatherings, and gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.

Being within six-feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick with the virus.

Experts also stress that gatherings with more people pose a higher risk than a small gathering. They say the size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay six feet apart, wear masks, wash their hands, and follow local safety laws.

If you do plan to travel to see family members and friends, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department says there are some extra steps you should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officials say you should plan ahead and limit your number of stops when traveling.

Also, you should be tested for COVID-19 one to three days before your departure, and five to seven days after returning home.

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