SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Throughout the holiday season, medical professionals have been urging caution for those who have planned to host or attend family gatherings. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19, keeping events small and testing before traveling to visit family have all been recommended.
But what about when you get home?
Chad Thury, a Family Physician with Avera Medical Group says that one important aspect is watching for symptoms.
“Even if they’re mild symptoms, get tested right away,” said Thury. “Traveling and being around other people just increases the risk for transmission.”
A thing Thury is quick to point out is that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than previous variants, meaning you’re more likely to spread it if you contract the disease.
Testing and monitoring isn’t the only thing recommended.
“Certainly, if you work in a place that you’re around other people, it certainly is wise to wear a mask for 14 days after that travel,” said Thury. He went on to say this is especially important for those who have been fully vaccinated.
“We know that people that are fully vaccinated may have not symptoms and could be spreading COVID, so I think you’ve got to assume if you traveled someplace that you were exposed to somebody with COVID,” Thury said.
Another important thing to remember is that the holiday season isn’t yet over either. Monday marks just the second day of Kwanzaa, a holiday which goes through January 1, and December 31 of course is New Years Eve.
For those planning to attend an upcoming celebration, Thury again advocated testing if you exhibit any symptoms. “If you’re going to be in a situation where you’d be putting others at risk, then you would want to get tested,” he said.
The other things Thury recommends are all standard advice by now. Keep gatherings small; wear a mask; stay outdoors or in a ventilated area if possible.