IDPH Issues COVID-19 Holiday Season
Plan ahead for the holidays and consider
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[November 25, 2020]
As Illinoisans prepare to spend the holidays
with family and friends, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
is offering recommendations on how to celebrate safer during the
COVID-19 pandemic. During a time when social distancing and limiting
the number of people at gatherings is important, special
considerations should be taken.
“COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live, and
play, and will now change how we plan to celebrate the holidays,”
said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “While the safest way to
celebrate is with members of your household and connecting with
others virtually, we know, for many, the holidays are all about
family and friends, so we want to provide some tips on how to
Traveling increases the chance of spreading COVID-19. When planning
travel, consider the mode of transportation. Traveling by plane,
train, or bus can mean standing in lines and sitting less than 6
feet from people for long periods of time. Traveling by car may
include stops along the way for gas, food, and bathroom break.
Decrease your risk by consistently wearing face coverings during
If you are hosting a holiday gathering, limit the number of guests
and try to have as many activities outside as weather permits. If
your gathering needs to be inside, try to increase air flow by
partially opening a couple windows. Please prepare yourself and your
guests to wear masks indoors when not eating and drinking.
Limit your activities in the two weeks before your gathering and ask
your guests to do the same. This will decrease the risk of exposure
to the virus and further spread.
Try to do gift shopping online by looking at local store websites
and choosing pick-up options. Grocery shopping online with delivery
and curbside pick-up is also available in many locations. If you
need to shop in-person, try to go at a time when stores are not as
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Think about the seating arrangements if you are
planning a meal. Keep members of the same household together and try
to put space between one family and another.
When serving food, avoid a buffet-style or potluck
setting and consider having one person serve all the food so that
multiple people are not handling the serving utensils. Also try to
limit the number of people going in and out of areas where food is
being prepared – like the kitchen and dining room.
If you are sick, do not travel and do not attend gatherings and
celebrations. Even if your symptoms are mild, you may still be able
to infect others, and no one wants the gift of sickness this season.
To help stave off illness, get your flu vaccine now. It takes the
body several weeks after receiving the vaccine to build up
antibodies that will help protect you from flu, so get it now to
help protect you and others during the holidays. Roll your #SleeveUp
and get your flu shot.
For more holiday safety tips, go to the
IDPH website under guidance.
[Illinois Office of Communication and