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Media Release

Bay Area Health Officials Issue Tips for Safer Holidays and Travel


Monday, November 9, 2020


Fact Sheet offers guidelines on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19


Health Officers from the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, and the city of Berkeley today issued joint guidelines for staying safe during the holidays. The fact sheet covers gatherings and travel, with recommended steps to reduce risk.

"With cases rising around the country, and beginning to increase a bit here in Contra Costa County as well, we all must come together and keep up our efforts to reduce transmission," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer. "When people who live in different houses or apartments are together at the same time in the same space, risk of COVID-19 spreading goes up, even when the people are relatives or friends. Please celebrate safely this year and protect yourself and your family by including masks, keeping a distance, and staying outdoors."

The fact sheet advises the public that if you gather in person, keep it small, short, stable, safe. Also, the fact sheet recommends that to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is best to avoid traveling long distances to celebrate the holidays. For those who are traveling, the fact sheet provides tips to help avoid catching COVID-19 or spreading it to fellow travelers.

Though California does not require travelers to quarantine upon arrival or return to the state, some national and state governments have requirements and restrictions for visitors from California, including mandatory quarantine and testing. Check what the rules and requirements are before you travel.

Celebrate without gathering

The safest way to celebrate this holiday season is virtually or with members of your household. Gathering with people outside your household – even extended family – increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. There are many ways to enjoy the holidays with loved ones without gathering:

  • Enjoy holiday traditions at home with your household
  • Decorate your home and/or yard
  • Share a virtual meal with family and friends
  • Host online parties and/or contests
  • Prepare meals using traditional recipes and deliver to family and neighbors
  • Attend holiday movie nights at drive-in venues
  • Visit holiday-themed outdoor art installations
  • Participate in drive-by events where everyone stays in their vehicles

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