We all have something special to be thankful for this Holiday Season. Everyone in the community is anxious to see long distant family members through this holiday season, however COVID-19 may restrict those happily annual traditions. From all of us at Loyalsock Volunteer Fire Company, we want to share the message from CDC this holiday season:
Over the last 7 days, more than 1 Million Cases were reported in the United States. As cases continue to increase rapidly across Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and entire United States, it is important to remember your family and your individual safety. The safest way to celebrate during this year's Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with people you directly live with. Note that gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the changes of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the seasonal flu.
TRAVEL: If you do choose to travel this holiday season, again know that it may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year. Below is some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones before leaving home in hopes to help decide what is best for you and your family:
- Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
- Are cases high or increasing in your community or destination?
- Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19?
- Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Always best to check state and local requirements before you travel.
- During the 14 days before you travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don't live with?
- Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
- Are you traveling with people who don't live with you?
If the answers to any of the safety tip questions is "yes," you should consider making other arrangements to celebrate. Hosting virtual gatherings or delaying your travel might be the safer option. It is always best to talk with the people you live with and your family and friends about the risks of traveling this year.
Safer Gatherings: Gatherings with friends and family are something many of us are looking forward too, especially this year. Everyone joining in the celebration can make it safer, even the kids. If not celebrating virtually, please remember to:
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin, making sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
- Stay at least 6ft away from others who do not live with you.
- Wash your hands and keep clean disinfectant surfaces
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
- Outdoor meal settings allowing for social distancing and limiting guest sizes.
Virtual Gatherings: Virtual gatherings are encouraged this year. It will help to schedule a time to share a meal together and have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared. In keeping with tradition, move the Thanksgiving Dinner in front of the TV for the ultimate parade watching, sports game cheering, and holiday movie watching.
From all of us, Happy Thanksgiving!