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With COVID-19 cases recently surging and the weather getting cooler, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) urges Oregonians to rethink holiday traditions to celebrate safely and still enjoy the season.

Along with the “three w’s” —wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and watch your distance—OHA encourages everyone to participate in lower-risk activities to keep all Oregonians safe during the pandemic.

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“Celebrating outside is safer than inside; just remember to dress in cold-weather gear and gather with fewer than 10 people,” said Shimi Sharief, one of the senior health advisors at OHA.

Other low-risk activities include making seasonal dishes with the people you live with, shopping locally or online and attending a virtual faith service.

It is safest to stay home and celebrate. If you decide to travel, go with members of your household and drive to your destination instead of flying, if possible. It’s a good idea to get a COVID-19 test before going anywhere, but it’s important to note that a negative test result is NOT a free pass. Some COVID-19 tests produce a high percentage of false negatives, so even if you test negative, follow stringent safety protocols if you travel.

While a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available, getting a flu shot ahead of the holidays is especially important and can help avoid a “twindemic.” A flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but vaccination has many other benefits. It’s safe and effective and part of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce the burden of flu.

For more tips to stay safe all through the holiday season, check out these infographics and share them with your friends and family on your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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