ELKO — The COVID-19 pandemic has left people feeling overwhelmed and isolated, and while the holidays present an opportunity to gather together with friends and family to celebrate, REACH Air Medical Services is encouraging Elko County residents to reconsider their holiday plans.
“Unfortunately, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise globally, and small gatherings are a big contributor to that increase, “said Stacey Ingram, Program Director for REACH.
“It is important that when making plans for your household, you consider how you can best keep your friends, family and community healthy and safe.”
REACH offers these tips for planning a fun and safe holiday celebration:
- In-person gatherings with family or friends from different households pose a big risk. Instead, host a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebration digitally.
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Host a household celebration.
- Rather than inviting guests to your home this holiday, opt to just celebrate with members of your household.
If you do decide to invite guests to your holiday celebration, REACH recommends taking as many precautions as possible.
Evaluate the risk.
- If you have someone living in your home who is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, you should reconsider hosting a gathering.
Limit the number of attendees.
- By keeping your guest list small, you allow people to maintain 6ft of social distance.
Opt for outdoors.
- If the weather permits, host your celebration outdoors and ask guests to observe social distancing and mask use guidelines.
- If you must host guests in your home, open the windows and doors or place central air and heating systems on continuous circulation.
Discourage direct contact and encourage handwashing.
- Guests should be discouraged from shaking hands or hugging and encouraged to practice frequent handwashing or hand sanitization.
Skip the potluck.
- Encourage your guests to bring their own food and drinks for members of their household. If you do decide to serve dinner, have one person be the designated server so that multiple people are not handling serving utensils.
The more of these precautions you follow, the safer your gathering will be. However, the safest measure is always to limit your gathering to just members of your household.
REACH is a participating provider in the AirMedCare Network (AMCN), the nation’s largest air medical transport membership program with more than 320 air medical locations across 38 states. Members flown for a life- or limb-threatening injury or illness by an AMCN participating provider have no out-of-pocket costs for the flight. Whatever the member’s insurance – or third-party insurance – pays is considered payment in full. Annual memberships start at $65.
REACH and Air MedCare Network are committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve. REACH caregivers and AMCN membership sales managers promote safety and preparedness to help save lives and prevent both injury and disability.