Help for Holiday Gatherings
So, you might have noticed that things are starting to get a little festive around town. Throughout the pandemic it has been important to find joy and connection in new ways, and with high transmission and hospitalization rates in our area, it’s still important to remember a few tips for gathering safely.
Talk to Family and Friends About Safety Expectations
Sometimes holidays can get a little hectic, which can put stress on you and relationships. Help protect your physical and mental health by talking to friends and family about expectations before any gatherings. Use “I” statements like, “I don’t feel comfortable being around that many people yet,” to set boundaries without sounding like you’re blaming others.
Test Before You Go
If you have any symptoms, it is best to stay home and get tested right away. If you don’t have symptoms but you’re attending a gathering, it would be a good idea to test before you go even if you don’t have symptoms. Say Yes! COVID Test is a great resource people in Spokane County can use to access free, at-home testing. Rapid at-home tests can also be purchased in local pharmacies. Visit our COVID-19 website to learn about testing options.
Get Your COVID and Flu Immunizations and Encourage Others to do the Same
Encourage others while listening to and respecting their concerns. Remember the “I” statements? Here’s another chance to use them. Share your own experience using “I” statements. For example, “I was concerned too, but after talking to my doctor, I decided to get vaccinated.” More information and tips on how to have a conversation about vaccines can be found here.
Take Things Outside
We live in a beautiful area no matter what season it is. Meet outside if possible. Go sledding, meet at a park, or find a trail to explore. If you do meet inside, mask up, hold smaller gatherings, and increase ventilation by opening windows and using fans.
If You’re Sick After an Event, Test and Tell
If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of a gathering, get tested and let people who were near you know right away. One way to alert people is to sign up for the WANotify app. If other people who were near you have the app, they will be anonymously notified as soon as you enter your positive test. If you’re worried about privacy, tellyourcontacts.org is another great tool to alert people anonymously.
OK, now that you have that all planned out, you’re free to move to the next items on your holiday checklist:
1. Wax up saucer sled
2. Find holiday meal stretchy pants
3. Inflate 20-foot snowman