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IDSA Supports Leading Health Authorities in Calling for Safe Celebrations this Holiday Season

In communities seeing rising numbers of new coronavirus infections, illnesses and deaths, as well as in areas thankful for hard-earned gains against the pandemic, protecting yourselves and each other must remain at the center of holiday plans this season to curtail the spread and resurgence of COVID-19.

As an association of frontline infectious diseases physicians, scientists, public health officials and other health providers, the Infectious Diseases Society of America stands emphatically with our nation’s leading medical authorities in reiterating that we must not abandon the fight against this pandemic or the measures needed to contain it during the holiday season.

“Virtual gatherings, that bring friends and family together from distant points, and gatherings limited to household members remain the safest ways to celebrate this holiday season,” says IDSA President Thomas File, Jr., M.D., MSc, FIDSA. “Large gatherings and travel continue to pose threats to efforts to curtail and contain the spread of COVID-19 in any community.”

Each family should evaluate the risks of holiday celebration plans in light of community transmission rates, including in the communities from where guests may be travelling. In the event face-to-face gatherings are held, IDSA also recommends:

  • Wear masks that cover the nose and mouth. This remains a critical and effective action to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus in any gathering of people who do not live together.
  • Spend time outdoors when possible. Lengthy and crowded indoor gatherings pose the greatest risks. Outdoor settings can reduce the risks of gathering with people outside your household.
  • Maintain six feet of physical distance at all times.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid buffets, potlucks or other self-serve options.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America urges families and friends across the country to celebrate this season’s holidays with solidarity, maintaining a strong and united front against this pandemic by following principles of public health and science. Visit IDSA’s website for more COVID-19 information and safety resources.

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