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Get ready for holiday get-togethers

A crowd of people, some masked, some unmasked. Illustration.

If you're fully vaccinated against COVID-19, mingling may be on your mind this fall. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that's OK if it's been at least two weeks since your final COVID-19 shot.

But what about mixed gatherings with vaccinated and unvaccinated people?

If you decide to attend or host this type of gathering, it's still a good idea to take precautions like these:

If you're sick, stay home. It's important to avoid crowds if you have COVID-19 symptoms. (That goes for fully vaccinated people too.) People who have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home.

Be in the know. Before you go, ask what COVID-19 precautions the hosts will take and would like you to take.

Meet outdoors, such as in a park. If the gathering will be indoors and will include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, open windows and doors and follow other COVID-19 prevention practices.

Make room for social distancing. Arrange tables, chairs or other furniture so it's easier for those who still need to distance to stay 6 feet apart.

Wear a face mask if you're indoors or unvaccinated. Keep it on except when you're eating, drinking or doing activities (like swimming) where wearing a mask would be unsafe.

Bring your own food. Or, if that's not possible, have one person serve food and drinks. That way, only one set of hands will touch the serving utensils.

Offer activities that allow for social distancing. Think Frisbee, catch or sidewalk chalk art. And resist the urge to exchange handshakes or hugs between unvaccinated people.

Clean your hands often. Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer—especially when arriving at or leaving a gathering, before eating, and again when you get home.

Reviewed 11/6/2021

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