Avoiding COVID-19 infections during the holidays

"There is still time so you can always get vaccinated."


FARGO, N.D. (KVRR-TV) -This time of year is all about gathering with loved ones, but those gatherings could also be ideal conditions to spread COVID-19.

“You are inside a closed indoor space and you are eating and talking together, so masks are not really feasible in that setting. It is in closed space and you have friends and family members around the table so it is closed, prolonged contact inside a confined space so that is why it becomes an ideal environment for transmission of infection,” said Sanford Health’s Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Avish Nagpal, said.

With over 200 million people fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in the United States, the pandemic is looking a bit different this year, but experts say you should still take preventative measures during the holidays.

“In our part of the world it is not possible to move the gathering outdoors or open doors and windows; increasing ventilation reduces the risk of airborne transmission of SARS COVID 2. Instead what you can do is you can get a portable ventilator, that purifies the air a little bit,” explained Dr. Nagpal.

Even with highly effective vaccines, health officials are still urging people to take caution during the holidays as the delta and omicron variants are increasing infection rates and hospitalizations.

“There is still time so you can always get vaccinated, that is the number one preventative strategy. If you are vaccinated you can have a normal holiday.”

Health experts also caution against traveling.

“COVID incidences or number of cases are not the same across the entire country, some states are having low and others are having high incidences. If you have elderly people who are immunosuppressed or not vaccinated, it is better to not travel and instead you could travel if you are vaccinated,” added Dr. Nagpal.

Health officials also worry that this winter could lead to a spike in cases like last year.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Coronavirus-ND, Health