COVID-19 Holiday Guidance As New Year Approaches
The emergence of COVID-19 delta and omicron variants are increasing the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States. As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to keep up preventive measures to ensure you stay safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinations are the best way to prevent COVID-19 and lower your risk of severe illness and death. In addition, the American College of Rheumatology recommends that people with lupus receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The ACR also recommends that people with lupus who take immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory medicines other than hydroxychloroquine receive an additional dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after completing their original vaccine series. If you received the 2-shot dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should receive a third dose of either of those vaccines. If you received the 1-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you should receive an additional dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
If you decide to gather with people outside your household to celebrate the New Year, please take steps to keep yourself safe.
In addition to getting vaccinated, keep these recommendations and safety measures in mind should you decide to meet with someone that is not in your household:
- Stay 6 feet away from others and avoid crowded spaces. You may want to consider checking which areas are COVID-19 hotspots.
- Wear a mask to cover your mouth and nose in public settings, especially in indoor spaces where it is difficult to maintain distance from others.
- Get tested before and after gatherings with a laboratory test or a self-testing kit. Encourage others to do the same to reduce the spread. If you test positive for COVID-19 isolate yourself from other people right away and call your doctor.
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water aren’t available.
- Watch for symptoms and monitor your health daily. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 call your doctor and get tested.