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Sonoma County health officials urge unvaccinated to not travel for Thanksgiving

Sonoma County health officials said residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should travel with caution this Thanksgiving weekend, while those who are not vaccinated should stay home.

Officials said vaccinated individuals should also make sure they have the proper documents required by some destinations, airlines and events to prove their vaccination and testing status.

Local health officials are hoping to avoid the same holiday-related spike in cases that led to a deadly winter last year. The most recent COVID-19 data shows virus transmission is leveling off in Sonoma County.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen cases spike around holidays as people gather to celebrate with loved ones,” the public health officer Dr. Sundari Mase said in a statement. “Let’s start the holiday season on the right foot by staying safe this Thanksgiving.”

The county health department issued the following guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations:

●Those 18 or older who’ve been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine for six months should get a booster. Those vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine need only wait two months before getting a booster.

●Keep indoor gatherings small; if everyone at an indoor gathering is fully vaccinated, masks are optional.

●If guests are unvaccinated or you don’t know their status, plan gatherings that are small, short and outdoors.

●Wear a mask over your nose and mouth under the following scenarios: when social distancing is not possible; when you might be around unvaccinated people, especially indoors; when around older individuals or people with medical conditions.

Officials also recommend good ventilation for indoor gatherings, keeping windows and doors open, running HVAC systems and installing high-quality air filters.

Those who have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested, and if you’re sick simply stay home, officials said.

Vaccine clinics and testing sites will likely operate modified schedules this week because of the holiday, with most scheduled to be closed on Thursday and Friday.

For more information about vaccine clinics and how to make appointments, visit the county’s vaccine clinic page or myturn.ca.gov. People who need assistance making an appointment can call the County COVID-19 hotline at (707) 565-4667.

A calendar of pop-up testing events is available on the county’s testing page. As of Tuesday, that page listed only one testing location for Thursday; however, Wednesday had several locations.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @pressreno.

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