Vaccines, boosters, masks and handwashing are key to staying healthy
It’s the most wonderful time of the year as friends and families gather to celebrate the holidays. But this winter, viruses including COVID-19 and flu are on the rise. That means everyone should take practical steps to protect themselves, their families and communities from the worst impacts of these viruses so they can be their merriest this season.
Dr. Erica Pan, California State Epidemiologist, is also preparing for the holidays with her family. She answers questions many people are asking about how to stay healthy this season in these video soundbites:
What is the status of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses?
00:05-00:13 Winter virus season is here. We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses like influenza and RSV.
00:14-00:24 Our hospitals in California are very full right now, and as a physician and a mother, I urge Californians to protect themselves and their families from the worst impacts of these respiratory illnesses.
What are some tips for keeping our families and communities healthy during the winter holiday season?
00:25-00:37 Let’s continue to keep in mind all of the ways we can safely celebrate together this holiday season. Now is the time to get everyone in your family vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and flu.
00:38-00:43 Stay home if you’re sick, and have test kits on hand to test for COVID-19.
00:43-00:48 It takes just a few minutes to test yourself for COVID-19 before a holiday gathering or traveling.
What are your tips for wearing a mask? (Doctor shows sample mask.)
00:49-00:58 Keep a well-fitting mask handy to limit the spread of germs. Make sure it’s well-fitted and well-filtered, like this one, a KN95.
How can we prevent the spread of germs to others? (Doctor demonstrates.)
00:59-01:11 Don’t forget these two simple tips to help prevent the spread of winter viruses to your loved ones and our community. Wash your hands often, cover your cough or sneeze, and don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards.
More details: What are some tips for keeping our families and communities healthy during the winter holiday season?
01:11-01:23 Now is the time to get everyone in your family vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and the flu, especially now that our youngest children are eligible to get the new updated COVID-19 vaccine dose.
01:24-01:37 Flu and COVID-19 vaccines continue to be our families’ and communities’ best defenses against severe illness and death, and it’s easy to get both at the same time. Before the holidays. My whole family did.
01:38-01:50 Please stay home If you’re sick. It may mean missing out on a holiday gathering or a special event, but this is how we protect each other and our communities from respiratory illnesses like flu, RSV, and COVID-19.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
01:51-02:03 Please stay home if you’re sick and test for COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you test positive to discuss treatment options. There are medicines you could take at home that are safe and effective for treating COVID-19.