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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidelines for how people can decrease their risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 during the holiday season.

Among the measures the CDC suggests taking are getting vaccinated when you are eligible, hosting virtual or outdoor activities instead of indoor gatherings, and wearing a mask.

"Attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The safest way to celebrate is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others," the CDC's guidance says. 

If celebrating indoors, bring fresh air inside by opening windows and doors. You can also put a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window, helping pull fresh air in through the other open windows, the CDC says.

In areas with substantial or high transmission (which is all of Minnesota and 96.5% of the United States), those who are not fully immunized should wear a mask in indoor public places and should consider wearing a mask outdoors if they'll be in close contact with others who aren't unvaccinated.

Even those who are also fully vaccinated should wear a mask indoors in public if they live in an area of high transmission. The CDC says it will help maximize protection from the highly contagious delta variant.

The CDC also advises against traveling anywhere unless fully vaccinated and wearing a mask on public transportation, including airplanes, which is required even for those who are fully vaccinated. (For more on traveling safely amid the pandemic, here's the CDC's travel page.)

And anyone who is sick or has symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend or host a gathering, the CDC stresses. In fact, if you are sick with anything or have COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home from all activities.

Here is the CDC's website on how to stay safe during activities, gatherings and holidays. The Minnesota Department of Health's website also has tips on staying safe while celebrating, including postponing large gatherings until there is less COVID spread, and what activities put you at more risk

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