November 18, 2021

Five Tips for a Healthy Holiday Employers Can Share With Their Teams

Stephen Massey
Managing Director, Health Action Alliance

With cases rising heading into a travel season busier than pre-pandemic levels, employers can encourage their workers to stay safe.

COVID-19 cases are rising again—up 14 percent for the nation as a whole, with much steeper increases visible in parts of the Midwest, Northeast and elsewhere. Add to that a holiday travel season projected to be busier than pre-pandemic levels, and employers should consider steps to promote healthy holidays among their workers and customers.

We joined with the Public Health Communication Collaborative to create ‘5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season’ that companies can easily share.

  1. Get vaccinated or a booster if eligible. 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend COVID-19 vaccines for adults and children age 5 and older, and boosters for many adults—including all Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients (two months after their main dose) and people over 18 whose jobs put them at high risk for exposure (six or more months after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines). The CDC could grant blanket eligibility to all adults as early as this week. [LINK TO OTHER BLOG]. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect yourself against the virus and keep your community and loved ones safe.

  1. Follow local and state guidelines.

    COVID-19 guidelines and requirements vary across the country and across businesses. The CDC recommends tracking local transmission rates to make a plan to stay safe and healthy. If you are traveling during the holidays, check state and local regulations because they may differ from your community. Before you make a dinner reservation, get tickets to see a play, or participate in another public activity, check the establishment’s requirements in advance to know if you should wear a mask or bring proof of vaccination.

  1. Take precautions indoors.

    Whether you’re shopping for gifts or groceries, stores are often busier during the holidays. In areas of substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wears a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the virus. Crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces can increase the risk of being exposed to COVID-19—so take extra precautions in these spaces, or try contactless or off-peak hours shopping.

  1. Choose outdoor spaces when possible.

    Celebrating outdoors is safer than indoors. Whenever possible, move holiday gatherings or festivities outside. For example, you may be able to enjoy outdoor dining options or other seasonal outdoor activities, like ice skating or watching holiday light shows from the comfort of your car.

  1. Stay at home if you are feeling sick.

    Along with taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, remember that it is cold and flu season. As busy as the holiday season can be, if you’re not feeling well, you should not go shopping or attend gatherings. Help protect your loved ones, co-workers, and others by canceling your plans, wearing a mask, and staying home if you are sick.