ERIE (Erie News Now) – With the COVID-19 cases surging and the omicron variant spreading, you may need to take some extra precautions before seeing friends and family this holiday season.
Some preparations can be done before the big day.
“I don’t think long quarantines are necessary but I do think people do need to take those additional steps. Make sure you are masking in public if you don’t know people’s vaccination status or whose health status you don’t know”, said Erie News Now Contributor and Epidemiologist, Dr. Dawson.
There’s only so much you can do ahead of gathering, which is why Dr. Dawson explained that getting tested is key.
“The rapid test is the best way to go, have people arrive at your home, have rapid tests available, have them hangout on the deck or in a garage do that quick fifteen minutes test and make sure everyone walking in and sitting down at Christmas dinner is negative before you start mixing and gathering”, said Dawson.
She also advises keeping gatherings small and limiting unvaccinated guests if you have young children who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet.
But does new information with omicron changes people’s plans?
Dan and Sue Sutton said gathering for Christmas is still a go. They still plan on seeing family, but will be keeping it smaller this year.
They said they have been cautious with Covid-19 since the virus first made its way to Erie and will continue to do so in the next few weeks.
“We generally wear our masks and we go into restaurants and have our masks on until we sit down”, said Sutton.
Dr. Dawson said you don’t have to rush out and get tested after you gather for the holidays, just to be mindful if have symptoms that arise.