GCPH issues holiday guidance

XENIA — As the holidays are marching ever closer, the officials at Greene County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have prepared some guidance to help protect individuals and their families, friends, and communities from COVID-19.

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses low risk for spread. In-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk. Here are some guiding principles:

— A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.

— The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.

— The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.

— The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial, or tribal safety laws and regulations.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

— Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.

— More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least six feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).

— Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.

— Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Follow these proven protocols to reduce your risk of being exposed to, getting, or spreading COVID-19 during holiday gatherings:

— Social distance and limit close contact.

— Wear masks.

— Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.

— Wash hands thoroughly.

The full Public Health Guidance for Holiday Celebrations 2020 can be found on GCPH’s COVID-19 page at healthalert.gcph.info/COVID19. For more information, call 937-374-5600.