Tips-for-Protecting-Yourself-and-Others-This-Holiday-Season Tips for Protecting Yourself and Others This Holiday Season

Tips for Protecting Yourself and Others This Holiday Season

Family of three smiling outside wearing winter clothes

COVID-19 is caused by tiny airborne germs that remain in the air when someone breathes, talks, sings, coughs or sneezes. Consider the following measures to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season.

Get Vaccinated, Including a Booster Shot if You're Eligible

Vaccines are the best way to end the pandemic and they prevent COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death. They're safe, effective and free. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and visit to get vaccinated.

Stay Home if You're Sick

Anyone feeling sick, even with mild symptoms (sore throat, cough, sniffles), should stay home, isolate from others, and get tested. Download our testing fact sheet (PDF) and read our testing guidance.

Get Tested Before and After Traveling or Gathering for the Holidays

Know Before You Go. Get tested 1-3 days before a family gathering, or prior to any travel, even if you have no symptoms. Antigen testing should be done 24 hours prior to a gathering or travel. PCR testing should be done within 72 hours – with results available prior to a gathering or travel. There are no out-of-pocket costs to get tested. Visit a state testing site or call (833) 422-4255. Learn more about types of COVID tests (PDF).

Test upon returning from the holidays. Test again 3-5 days later.

If Some of Your Group is Unvaccinated, Take Precautions

If your gathering includes individuals who are unvaccinated, keep your gathering small, short and outdoors. Your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 increases as you interact with more people for longer periods of time.

Wear a Mask, and Make Sure it's a Good One

Wear a mask with good fit and filtration. N95 and KN95 or surgical masks do the best job filtering out viruses and particles. Wear your mask over both your nose and mouth. Keep in mind that masking also reduces the spread of other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. Read Get the Most Out of Masking.

Gather Outside or Increase Airflow in Indoor Spaces

Being outside reduces the of spread COVID-19. When gathering inside, open doors and windows, run HVAC systems and install high-quality air filters.

Follow Local Guidance

Your county may have recommendations or guidance that is different than the state. Take extra precautions when local levels of virus transmission are substantial or high.

Activate CA Notify

Increase your protection by activating CA Notify and asking your guests to do the same. CA Notify helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 by anonymously notifying individuals of a possible exposure.

Learn More

Group of friends celebrating the New Year with sparklers