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Hawaii Health Department offers tips for celebrating safely this Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, the Hawaii Department of Health reminds everyone to celebrate smartly this holiday season, and provided some tips on how to do so.

“Many people in Hawaii are fully vaccinated and should be able to get together with family and friends to celebrate the holidays,” said DOH director Dr. Elizabeth Char in a news release. “We’ve taken big steps forward and our behavior in the coming weeks can show that we really care.”

Throughout the pandemic, holiday get-togethers have resulted in increased case counts, the department said.

Today, DOH reported 52 new infections, bringing the state’s total since the start of the pandemic to 86,991 cases. No new fatalities were reported, and the state’s COIVD-19 death toll remains at 1,002.

The 7-day average of daily cases is at 112, and the average positivity rate at 1.5%, according to the DOH Hawaii COVID-19 data dashboard. So far, 72.4% of Hawaii’s total population has completed COVID-19 vaccinations, while 85.1% has received at least one dose.

All adults ages 18 and above who were fully vaccinated at least six months ago are now eligible for boosters shots. While the boosters begin to increase antibodies wtihin days, it takes a few weeks to get the maximum benefit.

According to DOH, a total of 152,730 third doses have been administered so far.

DOH provided the following tips for Thanksgiving:

>> Celebrate with fully vaccinated people.

>> Stay away from others if you are sick, have symptoms or have COVID-19. Get tested in you have COVID-19 symptoms.

>> Limit gathering size to a small group, especially if dining indoors.

>> Wear face masks indoors when not eating , and when with people from outside your household.

>> Wear a face mask outdoors in crowded gatherings or with unvaccinated people.

>> Gather outdoors if possible

>> Spread out and allow plenty of space for everyone.

>> Set tables so people from the same households sit together.

>> Limit possible exposure by keeping gatherings short in duration .

>> Avoid places with poor airflow and improve airflow where possible.

>> Keep your hands clean.

>> Take extra precautions to protect seniors and the those who are immunocompromised.

>> Do not travel unless fully vaccinated.

Anyone not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 and who starts their two-dose primary vaccine series this week will be fully vaccinated in time to ring in the New Year.

More information is available at hawaiicovid19.com/vaccine.

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