Holiday traditions are important and many generations tend to gather to celebrate holidays. There are ways to enjoy holiday traditions while protecting your health and the health of others. The best way to celebrate safely is to get vaccinated to protect those at high risk for severe COVID-19 and those unable to be vaccinated.
- Consider hosting and gathering in an outdoor setting
- Protect those not eligible for vaccination by getting yourself and family vaccinated
- Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings, or gathering with unvaccinated people
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system should continue to take precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, as they may not be fully protected even after vaccination and additional doses
- If you are sick or have symptoms, DO NOT host or attend a gathering or prepare food for others
- Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
CDC recommends delaying any travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you must travel and are not vaccinated, follow CDC’s Guidance for Domestic Travel or International Travel for unvaccinated people. If you will be traveling in a group or family with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options. Everyone, even those who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations. Visit CDC’s Travel webpage for more guidance.
Why do new COVID-19 variants continue to emerge?
Variants emerge as a result of naturally occurring mutations in viruses. For example, the flu virus changes often, which is why doctors recommend a new flu vaccine each year. Scientists monitor all COVID-19 variants but may classify certain ones, like Omicron and Delta, as “variants of concern.” Scientists monitor these variants carefully to learn if they spread more easily, cause more severe cases than other variants, or evade vaccine protection.
As long as COVID-19 spreads, mutations and new variants are expected to occur, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including its variants, is to get vaccinated and boosted. Being vaccinated decreases the likelihood you will get sick, and makes it less likely you will need hospitalization or die if you get infected. Increased vaccination rates around the world will decrease the likelihood that the coronavirus will mutate into other dangerous variants.
What is the Omicron variant?
Omicron is a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19. The Omicron variant has been detected in a growing number of countries, including the U.S.
WCH continues to wait for a date from Arizona Department of Health as to when the 3rd doses for the vaccine will be released. Once this date is released WCH will provide as much information as possible on appointments being made available at the Wickenburg Community Hospital. In the meantime, if you are seeking the COVID-19 Vaccine please see Maricopa Contacts for Covid Vaccine Clinics:
• CARES Team (602) 506-6767
• https://www.maricopa.gov/calendar.aspx?CID=100 Vaccine location website