CDC urges people to stay away for St. Patrick’s Day

Coronavirus

A woman wears a protective mask in the popular Temple bar area of Dublin on March 17, 2020, as St Patrick’s Day festivities are cancelled and pubs shut in reaction to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — Planning to get together to toast St. Patrick’s Day?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the best way to stay safe and protect others amid the coronavirus pandemic is to stay home.

“Attending gatherings to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC said.

The holiday, which is on Wednesday, celebrates the patron saint of Ireland and is famous for its social gatherings and public parades and festivals.

The CDC said the least risky way to gather is virtually, with people who live in your household, or outside at least 6 feet apart from one another.

But as luck would have it, that’s not the only way to enjoy the holiday during the pandemic. The CDC offers the following suggestions:

  • Decorate your home with holiday colors, shamrocks and leprechauns.
  • Make Irish–inspired recipes.
  • Have an outdoor neighborhood celebration with everyone at least 6 feet apart and wearing masks.
  • Watch a virtual celebration.

In December, the CDC also urged Americans to stay home for the Christmas holiday season and to consider getting tested for the virus before and after if they did decide to travel. The advice was similar to that given for Thanksgiving before the testing suggestion was added.

To stem the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 534,000 people in the U.S., the CDC continues to urge the use of a mask with two or more layers, frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and when eligible, COVID-19 vaccinations.

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