Be COVID-Prepared for the Holiday Season

Industry Observer with Retired

Be COVID-Prepared for the Holiday Season


holiday guidance

The third holiday season with COVID-19 is underway, and everyone agrees that COVID fatigue exists. A few simple steps of caution can make being with family and friends enjoyable while reducing the risk of illness from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu.

Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services offers the following things to keep in mind when planning for family gatherings:

  • Make plans with the highest-risk person in the family and friends group in mind. Talk to family members ahead of time to figure out the plan. Encourage everyone to take additional precautions if a high-risk family member is attending. This means being up to date on all vaccinations and could include limiting the number of people invited. If the weather cooperates, think about moving meals outdoors.
  • Get the new bivalent COVID-19 booster. Everyone who is eligible (ages 5 and up at least two months after their latest dose) should get the new booster to add an extra layer of protection. There are County-operated clinics and private providers offering both the Moderna and Pfizer bivalent boosters. Visit to see dates, times and locations.
  • Pay attention to symptoms. In the days before the event, and especially the day of, watch out for COVID symptoms: sore throat, congestion, coughing, fatigue, headaches and muscle pain. People infected with BA.5, the dominant variant, are less likely to report losing their sense of taste and smell. If you feel sick, stay home—even if you have a negative rapid test.
  • Test wisely. Everyone should test before a family gathering—the question is when to test and how many times. There are differing opinions on the exact timing and combination of tests that should be taken, but for the most accurate measure of whether or not you are contagious, take an at-home rapid test immediately before an event. If you have been wearing masks regularly, limiting contact and do not have symptoms, a negative test is a good measure. If you wake up with a scratchy throat and have interacted with someone who tested positive, consider staying home even if the tests are negative.
  • Consider a mini-quarantine before a holiday gathering. Wear a mask in public indoor spaces and limit the time spent around crowds—for example, time trips to the grocery store for when they are not overwhelmingly packed. If traveling, check case counts for the area you are visiting.
  • Mask up when traveling. Whether taking a plane, bus or train, make sure to wear a mask.
  • Ventilate your space. If holding an event outside is not an option, increase air circulation and reduce the risk of trapping and transmitting the virus. Portable air purifiers with HEPA filters can be expensive, but even opening windows slightly can improve air flow.

The County continues to provide free N-95 masks and rapid test kits at multiple locations.

This is a Montgomery County, Maryland announcement.


Orchids, Longwood Gardens Conservatory, Kennett Square,
Pennsylvania USA IMG 1441
Canon PowerShot G11 Camera
Photograph by Roy Kelley
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Comments (23)

Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great holiday COVID safety tips Roy, thanks for sharing!!!

  • Consider a mini-quarantine before a holiday gathering. Wear a mask in public indoor spaces and limit the time spent around crowds—for example, time trips to the grocery store for when they are not overwhelmingly packed. If traveling, check case counts for the area you are visiting.
Dec 05, 2022 04:15 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. Thanks for the tips. We are still not out of the woods and caution is advised. Enjoy your day.

Dec 05, 2022 04:43 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

We will be flying back East next week.  My wife and I will be wearing our masks.  Why not? 

Dec 05, 2022 05:02 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Good reminders Roy. Some are more susceptible than others so we need or should respect that.  


Have a marvelous Monday!

Dec 05, 2022 05:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Roy... this is way more than anything I'd be willing to undertake. I'm pretty much done worrying about covid.

Dec 05, 2022 05:49 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Funny thing, 40% of the common cold is from the Corona virus and there has yet to be a vaccine developed to stop the common cold. Unfortunately I am of the belief this specific variation is dangerous for those with significant health issues or who are health compromised, but not for the average healthy person.

Dec 05, 2022 05:57 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

This is an excellent post with great information. Thanks for sharing it.

Have a super fantastic week!
Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Dec 05, 2022 06:18 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Roy, with HAVING COVID last week, I can attest the first couple days were rough, but mostly just a bad cold.

Dec 05, 2022 06:33 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hello, Roy Kelley. Thanks for sharing this very relevant and important information to help us through the upcoming holidays. I am thankful to be up to date on all my shots, especially after having caught COVID this past July. 

Dec 05, 2022 08:06 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Roy and thank you for sharing the information with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great week!


Dec 05, 2022 08:48 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

It's true, I don't think we're out of the woods yet with this. Good tips offered by Montgomery County Roy!

Dec 05, 2022 09:08 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to hear from you.

Dec 05, 2022 09:15 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Roy:

This is an excellent PSA for those who might be concerned and want to take precautions. Seems like a season filled with all kinds of respiratory issues - flu, RSV and Covid. 


Dec 05, 2022 10:19 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Roy - hope that it is safe this year.  My daughter got it last year.

Dec 05, 2022 10:20 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for sharing your 7 tips for dealing with the Covid this holiday season Roy Kelley 

Dec 05, 2022 03:36 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Those are all great tips for being Covid prepared for the holidays, Roy.

Dec 05, 2022 05:25 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Roy, on having this blog FEATURED in the PHOTOS group!

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Dec 05, 2022 05:28 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Wishing you and Dolores the best of health through the holidays and beyond, Roy!

Dec 05, 2022 06:06 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Myrl Jeffcoat 

Thank you very much for the feature recognition. It is much appreciated.

Dec 06, 2022 06:20 AM