Helping patients plan safe get-togethers can slow the spread of COVID-19. Following guidelines may allow patients to connect with their family.
The holidays are upon us, and with them, concern about spreading COVID-19 during gatherings. How can we help our patients to stay socially connected while staying physically distanced and wearing masks?
Here are a few things you can advise patients:
1. Talk to loved ones before gathering.
Affirm everyone is following CDC guidelines. If family members are following public health recommendations (staying at home as often as possible, physically distancing, wearing masks when in public, and doing frequent hand hygiene), then it could be safe to get together.
2. When gathering, do so in small groups, and set a time limit for the get-together.
Each person coming into a home raises the risk of bringing in the virus. The longer they stay in the home, the greater the potential of spreading the virus.
3. Those with a new cough or sneeze should stay at home.
4. Emphasize hand hygiene throughout the gathering.
5. Know and consider the incidence of COVID-19 in your area and what public gathering rules and regulations have been implemented.
These suggestions may allow gatherings to bring joy, instead of the virus. It takes some social re-engineering, but these changes will help end the pandemic. That would be the best holiday gift!