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10 Great Tips for Dealing with COVID During Holiday Gatherings

As of May 12, 2023, Valley Medical and Wellness no longer offers COVID-19 testing.

The end of the year is the time for all manner of holiday gatherings, from office parties to family get-togethers. With COVID-19 still lurking about, how can you stay safe and not contract the virus while still having a good time? Here are ten effective tips for dealing with COVID during those holiday celebrations.


1. Get Vaccinated—and Boosted

The best thing you can do to minimize your risk of contracting COVID at a holiday gathering or elsewhere is make sure you’re fully vaccinated. If it’s been more than six months since your last COVID vaccination, you should also get a booster shot. COVID vaccines and boosters will reduce your risk of getting infected and, if you do catch the virus, reduce its severity.

2. Keep It Small

The bigger the get-together, the greater the risk that somebody there is infected with COVID. Keep your holiday gatherings small and, if you can, avoid inviting people you don’t know. If it’s a family gathering, limit it to family only, no outside guests.

3. Invite Only Vaccinated Guests

This next piece of advice is more difficult to implement, but if you want to further reduce your risks, don’t invite anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated for COVID. It may seem extreme to some, but requiring proof of vaccination for entry will keep all your guests safer.


4. Take It Outdoors, If You Can

The coronavirus spreads more quickly and easily in closed, confined spaces with poor ventilation. That makes outdoor gatherings safer than indoor ones—although hosting a party outdoors in December is problematic if you live someplace cold, like Minnesota. This may be an option only for people living in warmer climates.

If you must host your gathering inside, maximize the ventilation as much as possible. Bring in more fresh air by opening windows and doors. Do whatever you can to improve airflow, circulation, and filtration.

5. Lay Low Before You Go

To avoid bringing COVID into the gathering yourself, minimize possible exposure for several weeks before the event. That means avoiding unnecessary travel, crowded indoor events, and other activities where the virus can easily spread.

6. Get a COVID Test the Day Before—Just to Be Safe

For your own peace of mind and the safety of others, get a rapid COVID test the day before the event. Look for a testing site that offers same-day results so that you can get tested as close to the party time as possible. (Valley Medical and Wellness offers COVID testing with same-day results at its Burnsville, Minneapolis, and Woodbury locations.)

7. If You’re Sick, Don’t Go

Again, for the safety of others attending, if you’re exhibiting COVID-like symptoms before the event, don’t go. You don’t want to expose friends and family if you are in fact COVID-positive. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and fever.

8. Wear a Mask

If you’re uncomfortable being around large gatherings of people, enhance your peace of mind by wearing a high-quality cloth or medical-grade mask. You should also wear a mask if you think you might be infected—or just have a cold. Masks protect both the wearer and the people around them.

9. Skip the Buffet

COVID typically spreads via the air but can also spread by contact. Any food that’s passed around or shared by others could also spread the COVID virus. For that reason, it’s a good idea to avoid buffets, passed appetizers, and family-style food platters. Instead, opt for single-serving apps and plates.

10. Get a COVID Test Afterwards If Necessary

If you come down with a cough, sore throat, or fever after a holiday gathering, you could have COVID and should get tested. You should also get a COVID test if you discover someone at the gathering later tested positive. COVID spreads more rapidly among large groups of people, so be prepared to get a COVID test after a big event.

Choose Valley Medical for Same-Day COVID Testing

Whether you need testing before a holiday gathering or require a test afterwards, turn to the COVID-19 experts at Valley Medical. We offer highly accurate RT-PCR COVID testing that delivers results the same day. Just make an appointment online, drive up at your designated time, and one of our expert staff will come to you—you never have to leave your car. The test is a simple nasal swab and you’ll receive test results by midnight that evening. If you test positive, we can schedule a convenient telemedicine visit to prescribe the Paxlovid COVID treatment.


About Valley Medical and Wellness

Valley Medical and Wellness offers COVID and flu testing and treatment for people of all ages. Test results are typically available the same day, and we accept all major health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. COVID and flu testing is available at our Burnsville, Minneapolis, and Woodbury locations. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve administered tens of thousands of tests to the public, and are proud to be a registered testing center with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Valley Medical is also a premier chronic pain management and addiction treatment practice with offices in Bemidji, Burnsville, Minneapolis, Rochester, and Woodbury, Minnesota. We strive to improve the quality of life for those suffering from pain and/or addiction through a comprehensive approach focusing on overall wellness, along with progressive and knowledgeable medical treatments. We work closely with our patients and recognize that dealing with pain and/or addiction can impact every aspect of their lives, including their self-worth, physical health, jobs, relationships with friends and family, finances, and mental health.

For more information about our services and to keep up with the latest events happening at the clinic, check us out on:


Michael Miller Michael Miller Michael Miller is a Business Process Writer at Valley Medical and Wellness. He's an established writer with more than 200 books and thousands of articles published over the past three decades. He writes on a variety of topics, from healthcare to technology to music. He is also a member of the Interstellar Foundation, dedicated to telling the story of humankind via NASA spacecraft traveling beyond the solar system.

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