Health Advice



8 COVID precautions you can leave behind this holiday season

Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Health & Fitness

But don't feel pressured to start shaking hands again if you thought the elbow tap was so much cooler.

4. Masks worn outside

In general, outdoor activities are safer than indoor ones because increased airflow means you're less likely to encounter concentrations of the virus in the air.

According to CDC guidelines, you do not need to wear a mask in most outdoor settings, especially if you continue to practice social distancing. The exception is if you're in an area where coronavirus transmission rates are high, or if you're participating in activities where you'll be in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated, or if you're in a large crowd.

Some public health officers, like Santa Clara County's, still recommend the use of face coverings if you are in crowded areas in general. Los Angeles County mandates masks outdoors at events with 10,000 or more people and recommends them in some other outdoor situations. And it's worth remembering that most young kids are still not fully vaccinated and that people who have weakened immune systems should take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people.

5. Sharing food


RIP Souplantation, but was that overkill (and is reincarnation real?) now that we understand that buffets and sharing food family-style are not big COVID-19 risks?

Eating meals together can still be risky — especially if you're indoors and not vaccinated — because the act of chewing can spread coronaviruses through respiratory droplets and aerosols. But there's currently no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. So if you've already decided to eat together, it's fine to split a dessert without worrying about getting separate plates.

A lot of other germs can be transmitted by sharing food. But this is not a story about other germs.

6. Water-based activities


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