Staying Safe This Holiday Season
The number of COVID-19 infections continue to spike throughout the nation, including within our region where the positivity rate was 3.8% on Saturday. For most of the summer and early fall, Long Island's positivity rate had remained under 1%, so this significant increase is concerning.
As we approach Thanksgiving and the 2020 holiday season, it is important for all of us to remain mindful of the threat COVID-19 continue to be and ways that we can prevent its deadly spread.
Protect yourself and your community from COVID-19
The New York State Department of Health is urging all residents to remain mindful of the simple ways of stopping the spread of germs that was successful in “flattening” the COVID-19 curve earlier this spring.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
...And always "Mask Up, Long Island"
For this Thanksgiving...
...Let's Keep the Spread to a Minimum
Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. For this Thanksgiving, health officials are recommending you avoid celebrating with people from outside of your household.
In advance of the holiday, New York State has limited both indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences to a maximum of 10 people. All other gatherings are limited to a total of 50 people, this includes catered events.
If you plan on attending a Thanksgiving gathering, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recommends you:
Wear a mask
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
Wash your hands
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Additionally, if you host a dinner, keep at least one empty seat in between each guest at the table and have one person serve the food so that there are not multiple people passing plates around and touching serving utensils.
The CDC has put together additional suggestions and alternatives to in person celebrations. For more information visit:
Everyone Can Make Thanksgiving Safer:
Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities:
No Planes, Trains or Automobiles; CDC Advises Against Thanksgiving Travel This Year
The CDC, in recent days, recommended Americans not travel this Thanksgiving as “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”
If you are considering traveling for Thanksgiving, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family:
- Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
- Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases.
- Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
- Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
- During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
- Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
- Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.
For more CDC guidance on holiday travel, please visit:
Travelers coming into NY are required to quarantine for 14 days, however, you may “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine following the guidelines on this webpage:
Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory, this includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The guidance also applies to international travelers coming from any CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country.
To review the travel advisory click below:
Get Tested New York State has aggressively expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity. Beginning July 1st, testing became available to all New Yorkers statewide. Residents can use this search tool to find a nearby testing site: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing.
In addition to the list of sites you will find using the tool, testing is also still available at the NYS-operated drive-thru sites at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University. Testing at these two drive-thru locations is free for NY residents.
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has also put together a listing of places and providers within our area that offer COVID-19 related testing. To download this information click:
Stay InformedQuestions regarding COVID-19 can be directed to Suffolk County 311 where representatives are available Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-4pm.
Visit the following links to view: