After many of us have spent the majority of our 2020 indoors, we’re all ready to gather with our close friends and family for the holidays. However, the cases in Texas are at an all-time high, with 253 of the 254 counties in Texas reporting cases.
We’ve compiled a list of safety precautions that we can continue to take while still celebrating the season we all cherish. So, don’t cancel your plans just yet! Here are answers to some of the questions many of us are asking ourselves:
Is it safe to shop?
Germs can spread quickly in large indoor gatherings, and we all know malls during the holidays are packed with gift givers and gift-card spenders. How do we combat this? Switch to online shopping. Many of the best deals that we usually find in stores are offered online, especially during the pandemic. Another option is to attend an outdoor, socially distanced craft market or farmer’s market. Why not support a locally owned small business while keeping you and your loved ones safe during the holiday season?
Is it safe to travel?
It is recommended that traveling is limited to “stay-cations” or road trips. Minimize the spread of COVID-19 by visiting an Airbnb near you, setting up camp in a state park nearby, or road-tripping to one of Texas’ scenic locations.
Are gatherings cancelled?
It is highly encouraged that if you are hosting this holiday season, you should stay up to date with the CDC “hosting gatherings” recommendations. If you decide to have loved ones over for the holidays, please have these suggestions in mind:
- Host the event outside or, if not possible, host it inside with windows open.
- Remind each attendee to get tested if possible and to stay home if they’ve been exposed to an individual with COVID-19. Luckily, there’s been a recent local development that will make testing easier — HHER recently led a successful clinical trial for the mLife True saliva COVID-19 test — that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization.
- Although this one is challenging during the holidays, it is incredibly important to limit skin-to-skin contact. Rather than shaking each other’s hands and hugging, try to wave or verbally greet one another.
- Continue to practice the following precautions: socially distance yourself from guests and keep all tables and chairs well-spaced apart, stock up each sink area with soap and/or hand sanitizer, wash hands regularly, and wear masks when less than 6 ft. from one another or all the time inside.
- Lastly, make sure you and all members of your households have been quarantining prior to the event and if not, get tested.
With these precautions in place, you’ll be able to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still celebrating the holidays. Although our usual celebrations may look a bit different this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t make new, cherished memories.
What Galveston events can I safely attend?
Holiday in the Gardens – Multiple Dates
Christmas Boat Parade – Saturday, December 12, 6:00 PM CT
Holiday Delights – Sunday, December 13, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM CT
Santa Hustle – Sunday, December 20, 6:30 AM – 10:00 AM CT
A Railroad Christmas – Multiple Dates
What are some virtual celebrations I can attend?
Planning on staying in and keeping celebrations within your household is the safest choice. If you had to cancel your travel plans and decided to stay home this year, don’t fret! There are many family-friendly events this year that are taking place virtually. All you need is a smart phone or laptop and you’re good to go.
A Christmas Celebration for the Ages – Sunday, December 13, 2:00 PM CT.
Video Calls with Santa – Multiple dates
The Great Santa Claus Scavenger Hunt – Saturday, December 12, 6 PM – 10 PM CT
Virtual Santa Express – Friday, December 18, 12 PM – 2 PM CT
Wreath Making – Multiple dates
Lastly, can you believe 2021 is around the corner? Here are a few virtual events to ring in the new year:
2020 has been a long, challenging year. Ending the year with those you love the most — whether that be in person or via Skype — is a great way to reflect on 2020 and make way for 2021.
For more holiday tips during COVID-19, visit our Hospitality Health ER blog, where we’re updating you all on HHER’s response and include a TDSHS COVID-19 count. For notifications on new posts and what’s new at HHER, follow along with us on Facebook.