As we come upon the Thanksgiving Holiday, the Hamilton County Health Department is thankful for the many preventative measures available to our community that allow us to enjoy the holidays with loved ones. Looking back to this time last year, there was not a vaccine available or plentiful over-the-counter testing options. It has been a hard 20-plus months for all, we are looking ahead with hope that family and friends can gather safely by taking certain precautions, recommended by the CDC to minimize COVID-19 risk.
Those who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask and practice social distancing when possible. Those who are fully vaccinated should wear a mask if in a large group in an indoor setting. Do not attend a gathering if you are sick or have symptoms.
If you are traveling for the holidays, the CDC recommends wearing a mask over your nose and mouth in all indoor/public settings. If you are not fully vaccinated, get tested both before and after your trip. Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19. Please also check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling as local governments may have travel restrictions in place. For additional travel guidance, visit the CDC’s Travel webpage.
“Being able to do normal, cherished holiday traditions is one of the best things we can do for good mental health and stability,” says Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Sabrina Novak. “The key to doing these things in a safe manner is using the tools and knowledge we have available to us. For example, doing the simple basics- mask wearing, social distancing, COVID testing and staying away from others when sick allows us to do the things we want and still protect ourselves and others.”
To find where the Hamilton County Health Department is offering vaccinations, please visit our online calendar at vaccine.hamiltontn.gov. You can also receive your COVID-19 vaccine through other community providers in your area. To find a vaccine close to you, visit vaccines.gov.
During the week of Thanksgiving, COVID-19 rapid and PCR test kits are available at the Hamilton County Health Department East 3rd St facility from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Wednesday.
Call the Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline at 423-209-8383 if you have questions about vaccinations, locating testing, or if you seek isolation or quarantine guidance.
Test kits are currently available for ages 2+ at the Health Department, while supplies last. For more information, visit testing.hamiltontn.gov.