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December 15, 2020

Health Officials Recommend Precautions for Hosting Holiday Visitors

Gabriel Moreno - Email

(SALT LAKE COUNTY)— The safest thing you can do this holiday season is celebrate at home with only the people in your immediate household. But if you are still planning to host visitors in your home—including students on break from college—there are steps you and your visitors can take to help decrease the likelihood of transmitting COVID. People with symptoms or who are quarantined should not travel or visit others’ homes under any circumstances.

  1. Minimize exposure: Visitors should make special effort to minimize their exposure risk for 14 days before traveling: avoid in-person interactions as much as possible and ensure consistent social distancing and use of face coverings.
  2. Test: Two-to-three days before traveling, visitors should be tested for COVID. Testing options for people without symptoms or a confirmed exposure vary from state to state, but many areas offer such testing via private pharmacy chains or laboratories.
  3. Isolate: Upon arrival at their destination, visitors should stay alone in a hotel or a separate area of your home. A separate, dedicated bathroom and bedroom is best, and you should practice social distancing and wear face coverings when in the same room.
  4. Test again: Three-to-five days after traveling, visitors should be tested again locally. In Utah, testing for people without symptoms is available via com.

“While celebrating and visiting virtually is the ideal scenario this year, we understand there are circumstances where people will still be hosting visitors or visiting friends and family for the holidays,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department. “Taking these steps, along with continuing to wear face coverings and social distancing whenever outside your home, will help prevent COVID from affecting your holiday more than it already has.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers additional recommendations for holiday traveling and visiting, including:

  • Get a flu vaccine before traveling.
  • Upon arrival, visitors should launder clothing and masks and stow luggage away from common areas.
  • Wear masks while inside the house. Masks may be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
  • Improve ventilation by placing central heating on continuous circulation.
  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.