TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages Kansans to celebrate the upcoming holiday safely. Whether you are celebrating with family or friends, it is important to know what COVID-19 precautions you can take to protect yourself and others this holiday season.
“The end of the year is an extremely busy time for us all and it is important that we continue to make our health and safety a priority,” Janet Stanek, Acting Secretary. “We encourage all Kansans to work together this holiday season and take the necessary steps to keep ourselves and others safe. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday.”
In order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking the following precautions:
- Get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death and scientists expect they will also prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death in people infected with the Omicron variant. COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized for people ages 5 and over. The COVID-19 booster shots are authorized for people ages 16 and over.
- Get tested. Even if someone is not showing symptoms, they can still spread the virus. Protect your loved ones by getting tested for COVID-19 before spending the holidays with friends and family.
- Wear a mask. It is recommended that you wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth in public indoor settings, even if you are fully vaccinated. If you or someone you are celebrating with has a weakened immune system, is at an increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated, wear a mask while gathering as an added precaution.
- Take travel precautions. It is recommended to delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, it is important to know the travel recommendations and restrictions before your trip. For information about domestic and international travel guidance for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, visit the CDC’s Travel page.
Help keep our communities stay safe by getting tested regularly. To find a free testing location near you, visit knowbeforeyougoKS.com.
To learn more about the vaccines, who is eligible to get vaccinated (or receive a booster shot), and schedule a vaccination appointment, visit kansasvaccine.gov.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!