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Celebrate safely during the holiday season

The holiday season is upon us and, unfortunately, so is the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana is reporting an increase of COVID-19 cases, after numbers had dropped in early fall. Other states and countries are also reporting increased cases, and health officials warn a third wave of COVID-19 is coming.

The combination of cooler weather and the holiday season, when people tend to spend more time indoors and gather in groups, could lead to a big spike in COVID-19 cases through the winter. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds Louisianians that it’s very important to take precautions that slow the spread.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving and to celebrate the holiday only with members of your household. If you do see people whom you don’t live with over the holidays, keep your guard up against COVID-19, the flu and other seasonal illnesses to avoid getting sick or making your loved ones sick.

  • Wear a facemask when you’re around people who do not live with you. The mask must cover your nose and mouth to be effective. Only take your mask off to eat or drink, and put it back on as soon as you are finished. Remember that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide mandate that requires residents to wear facemasks in grocery stores, shops and other public places.
  • Keep at least six feet between yourself and others. This is especially important while eating your Thanksgiving dinner, since you’ll need to remove your facemask.
  • Wash your hands often, and keep hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol with you to use when washing is not an option.
  • Get your flu shot if you have not already. The height of flu season is usually in January or February, so getting the shot now will still protect you through that time. Like COVID-19, flu is a respiratory illness that spreads easily between people, but the shot is a safe and effective way to prevent it.

You can share information by posting Blue Cross’ #MaskUp graphics to your personal social media. Find and download the graphics at www.bcbsla.com/covid19. Blue Cross has also produced Spanish versions of the social graphics, which are available to download and share.

You can visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos with the medical directors and others discussing COVID-19 prevention and other health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are added. You can also connect with Blue Cross on social media for regular updates.

For information on what Blue Cross is doing for members during COVID-19, visit www.bcbsla.com/covid19.