As the weather warms up, people usually start planning celebrations. ‘Tis the season for graduation parties, proms, and weddings. This year, however, planning for those events should be a little different than we’re used to.
COVID-19 is still around. It’s still making people sick. Some of those people are sick enough to have to go to the hospital, and some of them are even dying. Even though many people are saying the pandemic is over, COVID-19 could be an uninvited guest at your celebration.
There are things you can do to protect yourself and your guests.
What you can do right now
- Get up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines. Being fully vaccinated and boosted makes it less likely that you are infected, less likely that you will spread it if you do get infected, and less likely to end up in the hospital.
- Stock up on COVID-19 tests. You can get free tests by visiting COVIDtests.gov. COVID-19 tests are also available at most pharmacies, and you might be able to get reimbursement through your health insurance. You can also get free tests by visiting one of our Resource Hubs.
- Assume that other people have COVID-19. As more and more people get COVID-19, it’s more likely that you’ll run into them. Start taking commonsense precautions today, so you don’t ruin the celebration.
Before the event
- Get tested. Do an at-home COVID-19 test before you attend any big events to help lower risk for everyone.
- Stay home if you’re sick. If your test comes back positive, don’t risk other people’s health and safety. Call the organizer and let them know you can’t make it.
- Wear your mask. If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, remember that even if you are vaccinated and boosted, you could still pass the virus to others (although the chance is lower). If you choose to attend an event after a COVID exposure, make sure you keep your mask on and think about remote options to help protect others.
During the event
- Outside events are much safer than inside events. If your event has an indoor and an outdoor, try to stay outside.
- Consider wearing a mask. Even though you’re up-to-date on your vaccines, it’s still possible to get COVID-19. Wearing a mask at these events can help to lower your risk even more. If you do wear a mask, it should be an N95 or KN95, or double masks.
- Be careful when eating. If the event has food, eat outside if possible. And minimize the amount of time your mask is off if eating or drinking inside.
After the event
- Get tested (if you hear that someone who was there tested positive). If you were exposed to COVID-19, you should get tested three to five days after the event. And you should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure, so you don’t accidentally give it to someone else.
There are certain party guests that none of us want. COVID-19 is one of them. Enjoy your graduation, your prom, and especially that wedding. And do it safely.