Oklahoma health leaders provide tips for a safe Christmas with family

A Thanksgiving meal is seen in an undated file photo. (Getty Images)

A Thanksgiving meal is seen in an undated file photo. (Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc on communities across the globe in December of 2020, many families decided to forgo Christmas celebrations to protect one another.

One year later, it seems a new variant is trying to disrupt those family traditions once again.

However, the Oklahoma State Department of Health says there are things you can do to protect your family during the holidays.

“The best way to gather with confidence and protect against severe illness is to get vaccinated and get your booster shot,” Interim Health Commissioner Keith Reed said. “Getting vaccinated is your best defense against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. Eligible, unvaccinated individuals should consider getting the vaccine as quickly as possible and fully vaccinated individuals who have not yet gotten a booster shot should seek that out. The vaccine is safe, effective, widely available and free.”  

Officials say you should consider the risks of holiday gatherings and do the following:

  • Small gatherings with people you know is preferable to large public gatherings. 
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, do not host or attend a gathering. 
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. Outdoors is safer than indoors. 
  • Wearing a mask that effectively covers the mouth and nose is recommended – even for those who are fully vaccinated – in public indoor settings in communities with a high rate of COVID-19 transmission. 
  • Watch your distance and wash your hands frequently. 
  • Get tested. A list of testing locations is available at oklahoma.gov/covid19/testing-sites
  • Travel should be delayed 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. 

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