COVID-19 Prevention and Protection
Prepare for safer ways to celebrate the holidays
As we gather with our family and friends this holiday season, there are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. In Colorado, the number of COVID-19 cases are going up and COVID-19 has not gone away.
Five Ways to Stay Safe Over the Holidays
- Plan small gatherings. Gatherings with a small guest list are generally safer than larger groups. If you do go to a large event be sure to follow any masking and vaccination requirements.
- Everyone you celebrate with, if older than 5 years, should get vaccinated. This includes boosters for those who are eligible.
- If the weather allows, go outside or open windows if indoors to increase air flow in the house or building.
- Consider asking guests to get a COVID-19 test before celebrating in person.
- Do not host or attend an event if you are experiencing any symptoms and ask any guests to do the same.
Plan Ahead to Know Where to Get Tested
Getting tested is a good way to know if you are infected and to avoid transmitting it to others. Free community testing locations are available throughout the metro Denver area. Some hours may change and results may be delayed over the holidays, so be sure to plan ahead.
Rapid tests are also available at most local pharmacies or drug stores. If you don’t feel well, have a sore throat, have a cough or other symptoms, you may consider using a rapid test. Please see the FAQ for more information on COVID-19 testing and determine what test is right for you.
Getting Vaccinated for the Holidays
You can minimize the risk of getting and spreading viruses like COVID-19 and flu by getting vaccinated or getting your booster. Find a provider near you on our COVID-19 vaccine page.
Anyone who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster two months after getting vaccinated. For anyone who completed your original series of Moderna or Pfizer, you should get a booster 6-8 months after completing your series. With the amount of COVID-19 in our communities, when COVID-19 finds you it is better to be vaccinated than unvaccinated.
Traveling for the Holidays
If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, review the CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. Do not travel if you are experiencing any symptoms. Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and if traveling internationally to follow international travel recommendations.
Isolation and Quarantine
If you tested positive for COVID-19 or develop symptoms, follow the isolation and quarantine guidance to reduce the spread of the virus.
If you or someone in your home has tested positive, has symptoms, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow the Home Care Advice for COVID-19, available in English or Spanish, to help protect yourself and the people around you.
CDC has released masking recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated in response to the Delta variant of COVID-19 that is currently circulating in the U.S. The new guidance includes:
- A recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. All counties in the Metro Denver are currently at the "Substantial" level of transmission.
- A recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
- Check the state’s guidance by sector for additional recommendations for events and gatherings.
- Wear two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric for your cloth mask in public.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, or if you use a tissue then discard the tissue and promptly wash your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly soiled, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if hands are not visibly soiled.
Emotional health can be as important as physical health. Here are some positive steps you can take to support your or a loved ones' emotional health:
- Choose activities that relax you, such as breathing deeply; listening to music; enjoying sports, hobbies, or reading
- Move your body/exercise, eat healthy foods, and get enough sleep
- Check-in with your friends, co-workers, and family
- Take breaks from the news and social media.
- Develop a COVID-19 emergency kit so that you will have the supplies you need if you or a loved one gets ill.
- Contact the free and confidential Disaster Distress Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. at 1-800-985-5990, press 2 or text: "TalkWithUs" to 66746; En Español: "Hablanos" to 66746