Bay Area Health Officials Caution Against Holiday Travel

Sonoma and Napa health officers sign on to joint recommendations

Health officials representing 10 counties and the city of Berkeley advised Bay Area residents against traveling for the holidays this year, cautioning that family gatherings could worsen the spread of Covid-19 in the Bay Area and beyond.

Public health officers from the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma, and the city of Berkeley signed on to the recommendations. The full list is available in English here and in Spanish here.

Although they are not barring anyone from traveling, the health officers recommend against organizing large gatherings and planning non-necessary trips, including holiday getaways. The officers advise that “in-person gatherings be small, short, stable (no more than three households over an extended period), and outdoors.”

“With cases rising around the country, and continued high levels of COVID-19 here in Sonoma County, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to keep our community safe,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s health officer. “The best gift you can give to your families and friends this holiday season is safety. When possible, please celebrate at home with household members and limit travel.”

If individuals do decide to travel or gather to celebrate the holidays, the health officials recommend they follow all of the normal health precautions, including maintaining social distance, wearing a mask as necessary, and washing hands regularly.

The officials strongly recommend that those who do travel self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return home if activities while traveling put them at a higher risk of catching Covid-19.

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