Saturday, December 2, 2023

Health officials say what is safe to do over the holiday depends on your vaccination status


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Doctors with the Jefferson County Health Department said they are not expecting a large surge in cases from the holiday as long as everyone is careful.

“The first thing I would think about is ‘what’s my vaccination status’,” Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Health Department said. “We still want people to have fun, so I’m definitely not suggesting people don’t go and socialize. Just look at your personal vaccination status and that should govern what you do.”

Hicks said gatherings with all fully vaccinated people are not much of a concern, but large public events where there’s a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people are worrisome.

“If I am unvaccinated, I would not be thinking about going out and into large crowds of people and mingling because you are high risk,” Hicks said. “If you are fully vaccinated, then I think you should feel comfortable to assume more risk.”

Dr. Hicks said with variant COVID-19 strains circulating, indoor events are less safe.

“You are in mixed company, you don’t know people’s vaccination status and it’s a lot of people, stay outdoors as much as possible,” Hicks said.

Dr. Hicks said both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should take precautions this holiday, but you only need a mask in public if you haven’t gotten a shot.

“If you are going out in the general public, you should have a mask on if you are unvaccinated,” He said. “If you are fully vaccinated, don’t wear a mask unless you feel more comfortable wearing one.”

Dr. Hicks said another tip for staying safe this holiday is sanitizing surfaces and washing your hands frequently.

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