Health officials' recommendations to keep you safe for the holidays

NOW: Health officials’ recommendations to keep you safe for the holidays

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Health officials here in Saint Joseph County say throughout this entire pandemic they have been at the mercy of whether or not people will gather despite their warnings. Now this holiday week, this is truer more so than ever.

Here is what they recommend to keep you and your neighbors safe. 

This holiday season, the St. Joseph County Health Department cautions the community on holiday gatherings. While the number of COVID-19 cases are down since Thanksgiving, officials say when individuals let down their guard is how the virus spreads the easiest. The health department recommends keeping gatherings small to your immediate family, mask wearing both inside and outside and physical distancing. Distancing recommended especially when eating meals. Officials say that sitting around the table eating and talking has a high risk for virus transmission. St. Joseph County Department of Health Director, Robin Vida, says while the vaccine brings the community hope that it is only a light on the horizon. 

“There is hope. And we have put out a lot of messages, and I think it comes down to what can each of us do to continue us on this path forward so next year Christmas could look more like what Christmas looked like last year’s Christmas and Christmas before,” says Vida.

Vida also encouraging families to limit traveling. She explains the difficulty with traveling is who an individual saw before the trip and following the trip.

“And again, it really is assessing your risk and your loved ones before you even decide to travel, and then if you are deciding to travel that risk mitigations are followed pretty much impeccably,” says Vida.

Vida explains even if you travel by car to be cautious. While a car allows an individual to control their environment, COVID-19 guidelines should be in practice when stopping throughout the trip.

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