- Wear a mask
Wear a mask with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric that covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of your face to help protect yourself and others.
- Watch your distance
Stay 6 feet apart and avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.
- Wash your hands
Use soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
As we are seeing cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we must renew our sense of personal accountability to protect ourselves and those around us. This holiday season, we encourage you to please think about how your holiday plans can be modified, so that you can stay connected with friends and loved ones while reducing the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe. Travel increases the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19, so staying home and celebrating with members of your own household is the best way to protect yourself and others. Hosting a virtual gathering can allow for social interaction while maintaining physical distance. The safest thing to do is to stay home, but if you do decide to travel, testing can help you do so more safely. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but it can help make travel safer by identifying individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. Spending time with loved ones is an important part of promoting all aspects of our health – physical, mental, social, and spiritual. This year, however, it is important to focus on slowing the spread of COVID-19, to decrease hospitalizations and deaths in our communities. Native communities are strong and resilient. Together, we will get through this. Whatever traditions you hold dear at this time of year, we wish you a safe and meaningful holiday season.
During the holidays, it is important to focus on slowing the spread of #COVID19. Whatever traditions you hold dear at this time of year, we wish you a safe and meaningful holiday season. Read more from myself, @NCUIH_Official, @NIHB1 and @aaipdocs: https://t.co/SynQ1PYSbQ pic.twitter.com/fjC8IlJdtL— Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee (@IHSDirector) December 23, 2020
Stacy A. Bohlen (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians) is the chief executive officer of the National Indian Health Board. NIHB was established by tribes to advocate as the united voice of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. Francys Crevier, JD, (Algonquin) is the chief executive officer of the National Council of Urban Indian Health, a national organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives living in urban settings. Mary Owen, MD, (Tlingit) is the president of the Association of American Indian Physicians, a national American Indian and Alaska Native physicians association. Dr. Owen is also director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health and an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Biobehavioral Health at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Rear Adm. Michael D. Weahkee (Zuni Tribe) is the director of the Indian Health Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The IHS is the principal federal health care advocate and provider of health care services for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
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