The COVID-19 pandemic is not taking a break during the holiday season.
The worst spike in cases in the country followed last year’s Christmas season, peaking at more than 250,000 a day on January 11. according to CNBC. Reported deaths also peaked at around 3,400 per day in early 2021.
With this in mind, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, Wednesday, some steps New Yorkers can take to be safer and reduce the risk of infection during the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holidays — a time when millions of vacationers are expected to hit the roads, rail and skies, many are leaving the city for the first time in two years, thanks in part to the COVID-19 vaccines.
“On Thanksgiving night, I feel grateful for so much: the chance to reconnect with loved ones and the opportunity to do it safer and healthier compared to this time last year,” Chokshi said.
“We have made strides against COVID-19, with more than 76% of all New Yorkers having received at least one vaccine dose. This is a big step forward and it’s because so many New Yorkers have stood up to do the right thing. keep it up during the holidays.”
This is what Chokshi recommends:
Any activity is safer when you are fully vaccinated
“Any activity is safer when you’re fully vaccinated,” Chokshi said, adding that “people can feel comfortable coming together in small gatherings when everyone is vaccinated.”
Testing plays a major role and is an ‘extra layer of security’
Despite widely available vaccines and their newly approved booster doses, health officials have warned Americans early about a winter peak. Virus testing remains a key asset in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. Tristate Airports, among other major transit hubs, have free quick tests available to travelers.
According to Chokshi, testing before and after meetings or travel adds an extra layer of security.
With testing widely available all over New York City, about 70% of test results in the city come back within a day, with rapid test sites being another option, the health commissioner said.
In addition, “testing and other precautions become more important when you’re with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated friends or family,” he said.
Interested parties can pay a visit www.nyc.gov/covidtest For more information.
Plan around the most vulnerable member of your group
“My best practice is to plan around the most vulnerable member of your group, whether it’s a senior or someone with a weakened immune system,” Chokshi said. “Getting together virtually or using masks and distancing them can help protect them. My own family plans to have one of our gatherings outside this weekend because we will have relatives who are three generations long, including some children who have not been vaccinated because they be under 5 years old.”
‘Every day is a good day to get vaccinated’
“I have been asked if vaccination helps on an occasion that is only a few days away. My answer is, ‘any day is a good day to get vaccinated,'” Chokshi said, adding that he also includes anyone aged 18 and over. parent recommends getting vaccinated. a booster when it’s time for one.
The health commissioner went on to say that vaccines are starting to build one’s immunity, although it is gradual.
To find a vaccination center near you, visit www.nyc.gov/vaccinefinder.
Stay home if you feel sick
Chokshi recommends that you don’t gather or travel – even if you’ve made plans – if you’re feeling sick.
“If you’re feeling well and planning to travel, keep your face covered and wash your hands regularly,” he said.
Traveling? Make sure you know your destination’s COVID-19 transmission
If you’re traveling, make sure you know what covid transmission looks like at your destination and plan accordingly, advises the health commissioner.