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As the weather cools and cases spike in the United States and around the world, many are worried about what the winter will bring. We’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions and are sharing expert tips and recommendations to help you navigate the winter months and celebrate safely this Holiday season.
Why does COVID-19 get worse in cold weather?
It is not the cold weather itself that causes someone to contract a respiratory infection like COVID, however, colder temperatures and a drier climate make it easier for infectious viruses to spread. There are a few reasons why experts expect an increase of new COVID-19 cases in the winter months.
- As the weather gets colder, people are spending more time indoors. Low humidity during the winter enables the influenza virus to live longer indoors, and this together with spending more time indoors and in closer contact, significantly increases the risk of transmission and infection.
- Drying of the nasal passage due to low humidity can increase susceptibility to infection by damaging the nasal mucosa, making it easier for the virus to invade the body.
- The possibility that our immune systems may be already challenged by common colds and the flu.
Do I need to wear a mask indoors?
Now that we will be spending more time indoors, it is important to take precautions– like wearing a mask when less than 6 feet apart from other people whether you are in a restaurant or socializing inside (even in your own home) with others who don’t live with you. If you are dining indoors, wear a mask as much as possible when not eating and make sure you maintain a proper social distance if you are dining with individuals who are not members of your household or pod.
How can I have guests over safely this Holiday Season?
The safest way to celebrate the Holidays this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend the Holiday with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer.1. Wear a premium face mask to protect you and your loved ones. barrière face masks are made to surgical standards but offer much more breathability, comfort, and style. We use 3 layer construction with an outer hydrophobic layer, a middle meltblown layer with excellent filtration, and an inner soft lining. Triple-layered surgical masks are the top ranked protector against COVID-19, blocking 95% of viral aerosols (That's three times more than the average cloth mask!).
2. If you plan on having a small gathering this season, The CDC recommends hosting your guests outdoors, when possible as indoor gatherings generally pose more of a risk. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window) and be sure to arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families or individuals.
3. Limit gatherings to no more than 2 hours. The longer people gather, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
4. Remind your guests to stay home if they are feeling sick and be sure to keep a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.
5. Use disposable glasses, plates, utensils and food containers to minimize cross contamination.
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
7. To ensure that you are keeping your friends and family protected, consider giving your guests premium face masks, like our barriere masks, to wear so that everyone can socialize safely and in style. Our face mask packs, available in adult and kids’ sizes, also make for the perfect party favors for your guests to take home.
When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.