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Celebrating holidays safely

Spread cheer, not COVID-19. The safest way to celebrate in person this year is at home with the people you live with. With rapidly increasing community spread of COVID-19 across Alaska, holiday gatherings pose high risk. Any gathering with non-household members, even family or close friends, can spread COVID-19 to loved ones and result in another dangerous rise in cases. 

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A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is coming soon, but this winter we must remain vigilant. Let’s gather safely this season so we don’t overwhelm Alaska’s health care system and we can all be together next year.

Be safe during the holidays

Everyone can make the holidays safer

  • Share a special meal at home with the people who live with you.
  • Connect with others virtually. Host a virtual dinner, craft or game night.
  • Watch sports events, parades or movies from home.
  • If you are physically able, head outside for fresh air and exercise.
  • Cook traditional family recipes for family and neighbors. Deliver them without having contact.
  • Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation, pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Avoid crowded places, confined indoor spaces and close contacts with non-household members.

If you do gather

  • If you do visit with others outside your household, meet outdoors if you can. If you meet indoors, choose a well-ventilated space with space to spread out.
  • Wear a mask when you are not eating and keep at least six feet from others. Follow CDC and DHSS guidance to reduce risks at events or gatherings. 
  • Wash hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • A negative COVID-19 test is not a guarantee that is safe for you to be around others. Testing only shows if you have COVID at the time of your test and can be falsely negative. If you have been exposed, it can take up to 14 days to develop symptoms or test positive.
  • It is best not to kiss, hug or touch people who don’t live with you.
  • Bring your own food and use your own plates, cups or utensils. Avoid potluck-style gatherings.
  • If you do gather in person, ask people to not attend if:
    • Anyone has symptoms of COVID-19
    • Is waiting for COVID-19 test results
    • May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others.

Holiday Shopping

Holiday Travel

Postponing travel is advised. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Follow CDC travel guidance and visit www.alaskasafetravels for Alaska’s travel requirements.

Holiday Stress

The holidays can be difficult for many and this has been a particularly challenging year for many. Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be stressful. Remember it’s OK to reach out for help if you need it.

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