TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department is encouraging residents to enjoy their holiday celebrations but to also take precautions in light of recent increases in COVID infections.

In a recent media release, the SCHD listed ways that Kansans could still enjoy the holidays while also remaining safe from possibly contracting COVID-19. Taking from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the SCHD recommends the following precautions:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. The three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death and scientists expect they will also prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and death in people infected with the Omicron variant. COVID-19 vaccines are now authorized for people ages 5 and over. The COVID-19 booster shots are authorized for people ages 16 and over.
  • Get tested. Even if someone is not showing symptoms, they can still spread the virus. Protect your loved ones by getting tested for COVID-19 before spending the holidays with friends and family.
  • Wear a mask. It is recommended that you wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth in public indoor settings, even if you are fully vaccinated. If you or someone you are celebrating with has a weakened immune system, is at an increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated, wear a mask while gathering as an added precaution.
  • Take travel precautions. It is recommended to delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, it is important to know the travel recommendations and restrictions before your trip. For information about domestic and international travel guidance for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, visit the CDC’s Travel page.