Fresno County’s health professionals provide tips for the holiday season

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) – Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas is coming soon. However, health officials say COVID-19 continues to be a public health concern as many of the valley’s residents prepare for the holiday season while traveling.

This year’s Christmas season looks different than 2020. The country has been in the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years, but vaccines are now available to anyone aged five and over. The FDA also extended booster shots of both vaccines to all adults.

“Recently, booster vaccinations have been approved for everyone, not just high-risk people, but certainly those at highest risk, including the elderly, should have their booster vaccinations,” said Dr. John Zweifler of the Fresno County Health Department.

According to Dr. Doubters the best way to stay safe and healthy during the vacation.

On Tuesday morning at UCSF Fresno, several cars passed the drive-through clinic for tests or vaccinations before the holidays.

Paula Loyd was one of a dozen people who rolled up their sleeves. She received her booster vaccination.

“I’ve got the week off so I thought now would be a good time to do it, just in case I get a reaction or something,” Loyd said.

She added that she’s excited to be back with the family this Thanksgiving, and now with the booster it’s a very different feeling than last year.

“I feel safe and secure,” said Loyd. “It makes me feel a little more secure.”

Dr. Doubters expects many families to spend their holidays indoors because of the cold.

He said if you are vaccinated and you know other guests are too, a mask is not required but there is still a risk of breakthrough cases.

He suggested a few tips to help create a safer environment.

“Make sure there is good ventilation,” he said. “Keep the windows open, turn on the fans, turn on the fan, and consider using a HEPA filter.”

For those who are leaving the valley or the state for vacation, Dr. Doubt the people to pay attention to the vaccination rates and COVID cases wherever they are headed.

“We are seeing increases in the number of cases in a number of states in the country, in the Southwest and the upper Midwest,” he said.

Fresno County’s health officials said they expect COVID cases to spike after the holidays, but hope residents will enjoy the season while still taking extra precautions.

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