As COVID cases in Illinois continue to rise – the state’s positivity rate increasing to 3.3% this week – what is the safest way for family members of all ages to get away from it all? reunite in person safely for the Thanksgiving holiday?
Here’s a breakdown of the COVID guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Cook County Department of Public Health.
Do I have to wear a mask inside?
Although Illinois still has an indoor mask mandate for people over 2 years old, it only applies to public places and not to private residences.
If you are not vaccinated, a good rule of thumb in all indoor spaces, according to the CCDPH, is to wear a properly fitted mask over your mouth and nose not only to protect yourself, but also for those around you who are away. high risk or not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.
If you can, open the windows of your vacation gathering to increase ventilation, or move your gathering completely outside.
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What if I haven’t been vaccinated?
It is recommended that you receive at least one dose of the COVID vaccine if you are eligible before a gathering or travel, to protect yourself and other more vulnerable people.
If you are not fully vaccinated, that is, at least two weeks have not passed since the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should it is best to remain masked indoors at all times, except when eating or drinking.
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It is also recommended that you test within 24 hours before being with others outside your household.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s best to wear a mask and stay socially aloof.
What if I have been vaccinated?
If you have been vaccinated and are eligible for a booster, which means you are 18 years of age or older, and it has been at least six months since your last dose of Pfizer or Moderna Where at least two months after the Johnson & Johnson hit – recommended to get one.
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Federal regulators have recommended receiving the same vaccine as your first dose for booster doses, and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said this particularly applies to those who have received an mRNA vaccine.
For those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Arwady said “we certainly see people choosing to receive Pfizer or Moderna as a follow-up dose,” a decision she “fully supports.”
Should I get tested?
If you are sick or have symptoms of COVID, it is best to get tested and not participate in organizing or attending holiday gatherings.
The test is also recommended for those who have been in close contact with someone who recently tested positive for COVID. If you are fully vaccinated, it means getting tested 5-7 days after the last exposure.
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If you are not fully vaccinated, get tested immediately after finding out that you have been in close contact, and then again in 5-7 if symptoms develop.
The CCPDH also recommends testing within 24 hours before being with other people who are not in your household.
Finally, ask your family or Thanksgiving host about their testing or vaccination preferences, especially if you are traveling to a crowded indoor public place, such as an airport, on your way to the gathering.