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ADPH: Take COVID-19 precautions during the holidays

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Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 3:45 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) leaders reminded everyone to take precautions during the 2021 holiday season to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

ADPH leaders said all eligible Alabamians are encouraged to get vaccinated for COVID-19, preferably with the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, follow mitigation measures, stay home if they are sick, and get tested if they are ill or have a known exposure to COVID-19.

In addition to the primary vaccine series, ADPH encourages everyone to receive booster doses when eligible. Vaccinated individuals are advised to get a booster shot as soon as they are eligible - 6 months after the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 2 months after one shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

ADPH leaders said ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 include wearing a well-fitting mask in indoor public places, isolating yourself or family members when sick, seeking medical attention if concerned about being infected, washing hands frequently, and ensuring good ventilation. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “During this joyous holiday season, keep the health and safety of all Alabamians, especially people of advanced age, those with underlying risk factors, and young children in your family and community in mind by following COVID-19 prevention measures. Regrettably, the 2020 holiday season ended with a surge of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths.”

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested with a nasal test. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, wait at least 3 to 4 days after exposure before getting tested. ADPH recommends testing as a PCR (nasal swab) test only. Blood tests for antibodies are not currently recommended for determining illness status. After persons are tested for COVID-19, they should go home to self-isolate and remain there until their results are reported to them by their healthcare provider.

The ADPH COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard and COVID-19 Table provide a list of testing sites. It is recommended that you call the testing site for additional information before visiting. Go to alabamapublichealth.gov for more information.

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