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Health Officials Give Guidance on Easter Gatherings

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Easter weekend is upon us. For many, it’s a time to gather with family and faith communities. Health officials have some guidance on how to do so safely.

MercyOne Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Aneesa Afroze says last Easter, health officials didn’t know a lot about COVID-19. This year, they are more aware of what’s going on and what we need to do to stay healthy. 

“With Easter, especially with little kids around, be aware that little kids can carry the virus. They may not be sick, they may not get sick,” Dr. Afroze explains. “So when these children are within the gatherings, I think it’s the responsibility of the adults to take care of themselves and other people.”

For those celebrating the Easter holiday, the CDC has released its latest guidance:

  • As always, the safest option is to avoid travel and celebrate virtually. 
  • If you do get together, avoid large crowds and gather with people in your immediate household.
  • Have celebrations outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Continue to wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands.

The CDC says those who are fully vaccinated can gather with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks. Doctors still maintain to stay vigilant.

“Vaccines are building your infection-fighting capacity. It’s not a wall between you and the virus,” Dr. Afroze explains. “So yes, you could still get sick so you need to be careful. Do not have a false sense of security, until really a majority of the population is vaccinated. Then we can perhaps say people around us are safe and we are safe.”

Dr. Afroze said people should be OK to attend religious services if precautions are in place. If you’re sick, you’re advised to stay home.

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