Have yourself a merry COVID-safe Christmas!

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After the year we’ve come through, many of us probably want to celebrate big this festive season.

Of course, it’s important to adhere to the limits on the number of people who can gather in your state or territory. But eased restrictions around much of the country do now allow for larger gatherings with our family and friends.

As we get into the festive spirit, it’s important we also think about how we can conduct this year’s celebrations in a COVID-safe way.

The basics

Before we get to some tips, let’s recap a couple of the key things we know about how COVID-19 can spread.

First, we know close contact is a major risk factor for the spread of COVID-19. This is because droplet spread plays a key role in transmission.

So for example, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, infectious droplets can land on you or in the environment. Then if you touch your face, or nearby contaminated surfaces, you could introduce the virus into your body by touching your mouth or rubbing your eyes.

In a confined space with poor ventilation, there’s also increasing evidence COVID is spread via airborne transmission, which is when droplets smaller in size (aerosols) hang around for longer in the air.

People gather round the table for Christmas lunch
All states but WA are aiming to have their borders open for Christmas.(Supplied: Pixabay)

5 tips to reduce the risk

  1. 1.If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this year, it’s that it’s not heroic to soldier on if you’re sick. If you are feeling unwell, stay at home. This applies to you and your guests. If you are hosting and you’re unwell, look for another venue, or cancel.
  2. 2.Plan for an outdoor gathering — the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors.
  3. 3.If you’re hosting a gathering indoors, dine in your biggest room, or spread everybody out across a few rooms. Open your windows and doors to let in the fresh air and, importantly, increase ventilation
  4. 4.Avoid crowded seating at the table. Set up a few extra trestles or camp tables to space people out
  5. 5.Encourage your guests to perform frequent hand hygiene. Stock up on hand sanitisers and soaps and have them readily available in all rooms and outside, especially if people are helping themselves to food.

Source: ABC AU

The Mazatlan Post

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