Offers Safe Alternatives for Holiday Celebrations
(NOBLESVILLE, NOBLESVILLE 13, 2020)
A recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Hamilton County, partnered with the upcoming holiday season, has given many cause for concern. The Hamilton County Health Department is providing new guidance on holiday-specific actions families can take to help mitigate the virus’ spread.
Back in August, the Health Department partnered with area schools to launch the “Show Some C.L.A.S.S” campaign to keep kids healthy and in school. That acronym has been updated to reflect a change in the trends being seen through contact tracing and to provide guidance on planning holiday gatherings.
C – CELEBRATE VIRTUALLY. Try using Skype, Zoom, or some other video chat platform for a family toast or virtual dessert.
L - LIMIT TRAVEL. Stay close to home. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
A - AVOID IN-HOME GATHERINGS. Contact tracers have determined private parties and in-home gatherings are the leading cause of transmission. Visit with people outside your immediate family in public spaces.
S - SPEAK TO CONTACT TRACERS. Only a third of Hamilton County residents who test positive for COVID-19 are answering the call from contact tracers. Please answer the phone so they can monitor hotspots and notify those who may be at risk for contracting the virus.
S - STAY HOME. Stay home if you are sick or waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
“The holidays are an incredibly stressful time of year without a pandemic,” says Christian Walker, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Department. “While not ideal, cancelling your holiday parties and scrubbing big travel plans may just help alleviate some of that stress.”
If you feel you must host extended family for the holidays, consider limiting the number of people you invite and the amount of time you spend together. Celebrate outside if the weather permits or try to open windows to maintain good air circulation. Designate one person to prepare and serve all the food and bring your own drinks and utensils to gatherings. And of course, always wear a mask, stay at least six feet apart, and wash your hands.
“For those tempted to cut corners, please don’t,” Walker continues. “It’s critical that we be as careful as humanly possible right now. That includes Thanksgiving Eve bar crawls and the lure of Black Friday crowds. If you don’t have to leave home, just don’t.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Show Some C.L.A.S.S. campaign, please visit www.showsomeclass.org.