As we approach the holiday season and many people begin to plan for celebrations and related travel, WVU wants to remind faculty, staff and students to stay vigilant in protecting themselves and others from the potential spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Kathryn S. Moffett , is a professor, the division chief of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the Mountain State Cystic Fibrosis Center. She answers questions around COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and flu shots around the holidays.
The best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep family and friends safer is for eligible people to get vaccinated. We are encouraged by the steadily increasing vaccination rates among our students, faculty and staff; however, we continue to monitor conditions as we face colder weather and more indoor gatherings.
Note: Due to Thanksgiving break, COVID-19 testing will be limited on campus. WVU's testing services will be closed starting Monday (Nov. 22) and extending through Nov. 26; however, the Monongalia County Health Department will provide testing at the Rec Center Tuesday (Nov. 23) from 8 a.m. to noon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its updated guidance around gatherings and traveling amid the pandemic.
Safer ways to gather during the holidays:
Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination such as young children by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public
indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated.
If you are gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, you could consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
Traveling during the holidays:
CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation (planes, buses, trains) and in U.S. transportation hubs and follow international travel recommendations.
Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about two arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you.
Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60%) alcohol.
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