The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published holiday guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19 that, among other things, advise against singing or caroling, consuming alcohol or listening to loud music. The CDC also considers shopping in crowded stores, attending large functions or parades, and attending gatherings with people not from your household to be high-risk activities.
The 'no singing' recommendation is not new and has already been in effect at places of worship since the pandemic began, but the no alcohol or loud music suggestion has many scratching their head. Here's why the CDC advised against them.
Alcohol consumption is listed as a high-risk activity because "Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.”
Listening to loud music and singing are listed as high-risk activities, and the CDC recommends “Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.”
Keep in mind that the coronavirus is transmitted primarily from person-to-person through respiratory droplets like saliva - so, singing and shouting increase the likelihood of spreading the virus and exposing others to it.
Recommendations for holiday gatherings with people not from your immediate household, include:
- quarantine 14 days before and 14 days after
- attendees should wear face coverings/masks
- host should provide hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) and hand washing stations
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