COVID-19 Guidance for Fall and Winter Celebrations

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Summary                                                                         

In preparation for fall and winter celebrations, the Yakima Health District would like to provide guidance to help community members celebrate safely and reduce the spread of COVID-19. As part of this guidance, community members are reminded that Yakima County continues to see high levels of community transmission, and everyone is encouraged to take all possible precautions to reduce their risk of exposure.

Preparing for Upcoming Celebrations

Get vaccinated against COVID-19

The best way to prepare for upcoming celebrations is by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes recommended additional doses or booster doses. Getting vaccinated can provide you with additional protection while traveling and gathering with others, and help protect those around you who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. To find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, visit YakimaVaccines.org.

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Get your flu shot

Consider getting your flu shot two weeks before you travel or participate in any gatherings. Flu shots are recommended for anyone 6 months and older. Find a local flu shot location on our Flu Prevention page.

Special considerations

  • The CDC recommends that everyone in areas with high levels of community transmission wear a mask in indoor public spaces, crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. 
  • Immunocompromised individuals may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by a healthcare provider.
  • If you are gathering with people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, consider taking additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance to further reduce risk.

Considerations for Gatherings

Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice. If you choose to attend or host a gathering with individuals from others households, follow the recommendations below to keep yourself and others safe:

  • Choose outdoor gatherings instead of indoor gatherings
  • If indoors, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.  Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors if possible.
  • Wear a face mask if you are in public indoor settings or in close contact with others
  • Wash your hands often
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19

Additional guidance for small and large gatherings is available on the CDC's website.

Large events

Large gatherings and events can present a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission for individuals and the community. Event organizers should review current COVID-19 Event Guidance for additional information.

Considerations for Traveling

Travel can increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you must travel, keep in mind the following general recommendations for safer travel:

  • Consider delaying travel if you are not fully vaccinated
  • Do not travel if you are sick
  • Wear a face mask in public settings. Face masks are required on public transportation.
  • Avoid large crowds and practice physical distancing
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often
  • After your trip, self monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.

You may also be advised to take additional travel precautions based on your vaccination status. Visit: Travel | CDC for more information.