Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, gives tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

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Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department

Dr. Burstein warns that even small gatherings can lead to COVID-19 positivity. She says that if you are going to have a gathering, hosting outside is the best route. She recommends that families stay six feet apart, wear masks and don't share utensils or items. She acknowledges that it's difficult to host outdoor gatherings in Buffalo in November. If you do host a gathering inside, it's best to limit to people from WNY, rather than having people from other parts of New York State or out-of-state.

If there are 25 people at a gathering there is a 33% chance that someone in the room has COVID-19, if you attend a 50 person gathering there's 55% chance of you getting infected. Dr. Burstein says, "The numbers are real, the risk is real."

If you are traveling, Dr. Burstein says that there are still lots of risks. People can be exposed in bus stations, airports, gas stations, restaurants and other places where they may interact with people.

Tips For Avoiding COVID-19 and Staying Safe:

- Avoid travel, if possible
- Host virtual get-to-gethers
- Visitors take a test right before they see you
- Visitors quarantine for 14 days before they arrive
- Always wash hands
- Gather outside, if possible
- Keep families/households 6 feet apart at gatherings
- Avoid eating/drinking at a gathering, if possible
- Wear masks when not eating/drinking
- Do not share utensils or other items

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