COVID-19

Health Experts Encourage Holiday Gatherings, But Urge Precautions

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise, health experts say people should still gather with loved ones this holiday season, but they highlight the importance of getting vaccinated, wearing masks and protecting vulnerable family members

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With families being urged to take precautions before gathering for the holidays, at-home COVID-19 tests have become harder to find.

It's another COVID Christmas, but health experts say there's no reason why people can't enjoy themselves — especially if they're vaccinated and take precautions.

"I think people should still get together for the holiday, because it's been a difficult year," said Dr. George Abraham, the chief of medicine at Saint Vincent Hospital.

Doctors say get vaccinated, limit the size of family celebrations, wear masks indoors and protect vulnerable members of the family from those who are unvaccinated.

"We have a lot of different tools in your toolbox, but the most important one is get vaccinated," said Dr. Sabrina Assoumou of Boston Medical Center.

Rapid testing kits are another tool recommended by the CDC. They work in about 15 minutes, but like a lot of items around Christmas, they're hard to find.

"If you're looking for rapid tests, keep looking. Different places that don't have it today may have it tomorrow," Assoumou said.

Boston plans to make 20,000 rapid testing kits available to some of the city's hardest hit neighborhoods before Christmas.