Newswise — Diana Finkel, an assistant professor of medicine and director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, is available for interviews on how people can minimize their chances of getting sick at holiday gatherings (without eating outside).

“Because many infectious people show no signs of illness, those who wish to avoid illness should try to maintain a personal distance of around six feet, wear masks, and use substitutes like elbow bumps for hugging and handshakes. Cracking windows can also help with ventilation, and washing hands frequently can reduce the spread of many illnesses.”

“It's too late for influenza and Covid vaccinations to take effect by Thanksgiving, but getting vaccinated now will help protect you for holiday gatherings in December. Also, to minimize the chances that you will get others sick, you should consider getting a Covid test immediately before getting together with friends and family who don’t live with you.”

“Whatever precautions you take, there is some risk of illness when getting together with people who don’t live with you. If you feel it's not safe for you to take the risk, you can still stay connected via phone, email and video chat.”

Journalists whose deadlines preclude interviews may use the quotes in this advisory.