UTAH (ABC4) – With the holiday right around the corner, it’s easy to forget about the pandemic, but health officials say COVID-19 doesn’t care what day it is, and the virus will do whatever it can to spread. 

Below is a list of things University of Utah Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Emily Spivak says you should do before getting together with family. 

  1. Get Vaccinated: This is the number one thing Dr. Spivak says all eligible people should do.
  2. Get The Booster: Dr. Spivak says virtually everyone over the age of 16 should get a booster shot. 
  3. Check Everyone’s Vaccine Status: Ask if they’re vaccinated. Ask if they have gotten the booster and when their last shot was. If someone is not vaccinated, and you have all your shots Dr. Spivak says the odds of you getting super sick from COVID-19 is extremely rare, however you should ask yourself if seeing that person is worth having cold or flu like symptoms and having to quarantine for 10 days.
  4. Get Tested: If you are fully vaccinated, Dr. Spivak recommends getting tested one to two days before seeing family members and limiting exposure after getting tested. If you are not vaccinated, Dr. Spivak recommends in addition to the PCR test, taking an at-home test right before heading over to see family. 
  5. Traditional COVID-19 Precautions
    1. If someone is not vaccinated, Dr. Spivak recommends wearing masks as much as possible. 
    2. Keep rooms well ventilated. Consider opening windows and doors and using fans (space heaters can help keep things comfortable). 
    3. Do not share food or utensils.
    4. Keep your distance from others when possible. 

While getting vaccinated is great, Dr. Spivak said this can also mean if you contract COVID-19, your symptoms could be incredibly mild. That’s why Dr. Spivak said if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, it is best to just stay home.