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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has released updated holiday guidance aimed at helping families navigate winter holiday traditions in the midst of COVID-19.
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly across the U.S., our guidance—as well as that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—recommends the safest way to celebrate the holidays is at home with the people you live with only.
Our community has seen the impact holiday gatherings have had on COVID-19 case numbers. In the two weeks following Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving gatherings were our most common source of spread outside of household spread and the work environment. Thanksgiving gatherings accounted for a total of 13% of known exposures.
“As you have regularly heard us say, we are nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. But we still have a winter to get through—and we can,” said Katie Towns, Assistant Director of Health. “We have learned as a community what we are capable of. We have shown creativity and conviction. We just need to keep that up for a little while longer.”
The guidance at health.springfieldmo.gov/celebratesafely continues to provide valuable information on how to have a safe and fun holiday.
Individuals are encouraged to regularly evaluate their plans this season by reviewing our website. There you can find lower risk alternatives to traditions like travel and other activities unique to this season.
New additions to the holiday guidance include specific considerations for small gatherings of family and friends and important steps to take if you are exposed to COVID-19 at a winter holiday event. Individuals will also be able to access our outline for having tough conversations around the pandemic and valuable risk assessment tool as they evaluate their holiday plans.
The guidance also provides the community an updated outline of low risk, moderate risk and high-risk activities. This holiday season, lower risk activities include exchanging gifts with members of your direct household or participating in drive-through holiday displays. High risk activities might include visiting Santa in crowded stores or singing and caroling, which produce a high rate of respiratory spread.
The Health Department encourages families to review these considerations when crafting their holiday plans.
View our Celebrate Safely PSA here: https://vimeo.com/491219663
Families wanting more information on how they can celebrate safely are welcome to contact the Health Department to ask questions via our coronavirus hotline at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected]
Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected].
Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at [email protected].
Springfield-Greene County Health Department“Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.”health.springfieldmo.gov | facebook.com/SGCHD | twitter.com/SGCHD
417-864-1658227 E. Chestnut Expressway