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IDPH Alert

IDPH recommends that residents stay home as much as possible and only leave for essential activities.

12 ways to holiday safely

We all want to be together with friends and family during the holidays. But, if we want to protect the ones we love, we have to avoid risky situations this year — and that includes the gatherings we hold dear. With some safety tweaks, you’ll see that many holiday traditions can still be enjoyed with just as much joy.  

Stay merry. Stay home.

Reach out to the people you love via holiday cards, phone and video calls. And if you absolutely must leave your home, please always wear a mask.

Over the wi-fi and through the zoom to grandmother’s house we go

Celebrate in-person with the people in your household, but hold off on hosting or attending any gatherings. To see more friendly faces and protect your most vulnerable loved ones by inviting them to join the festivities virtually.

Please don’t be a scrooge, wear a mask in public

Spread holiday cheer — without spreading anything else. If you have to leave the safety of home, wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.

Shop from home because it’s safer fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Help protect one another while supporting small businesses by ordering gifts for contactless pickup or delivery. And if you do shop in-store, wear a mask.

O local eats, o takeout treats

Pick up your favorite foods from your local restaurant and have a happy, healthy holiday dinner at home. It’ll be safer and just as joyful.

Jingle all the way, but ride your own sleigh

Drive your own car instead of carpooling to essential destinations. If you need to leave, remember to limit the length and frequency of your trips and always mask up. And if you're not feeling well, stay home.

Deck the halls with sanitizer

Carry a personal sanitizing kit with goodies like hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes and take it with you whenever you go out for essential activities (to work, the grocery store, a local small business, the post office, etc.).

Treats on the doorstep knock, knock knock

Drop off holiday foods, desserts, or décor at the door of friends and family and avoid entering their home.

Shy away from the bear hug, say hello with an air hug

Give the gift of safer greetings. Replace handshakes and hugs with air high-fives and “hey-o’s”.

We wish you some social distance

You can be social with the people in your household, just social distance and mask up when in public. Let’s all stay safe together.

Carol ‘til they’re clean

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or the same amount of time it takes to sing the first verse of “Deck the Halls.”

Zoom in the new year

There’s no better resolution than protecting your family, friends and community by hosting a virtual celebration.

Oh what fun it is to watch

Check out these bite-sized video tips for holiday safety that are sure to get stuck in your head.

Download the healthy holidays media toolkit

Download the healthy holidays media toolkit Download Download the healthy holidays media toolkit

Protecting you and your kin

Protecting you and your kin

Whether it’s winter sniffles, the flu or something else, don’t ignore the warning signs when you’re not feeling well. Here are some helpful tips to help you weather whatever comes your way:

  • If you’re feeling sick... Keep away from others, whether it’s the virus or not. Have someone else run essential errands or utilize delivery services. Monitor your symptoms, call your doctor and take their advice. If you need to get a COVID-19 test, visit to find the site nearest you.
  • If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19... Whether you have symptoms or were potentially exposed during a gathering or travel, consider getting tested for COVID-19. Before and after a test, quarantine and be sure to keep your distance from those in your household. While you’re waiting for your results, start to retrace your steps in case it comes back positive.
  • If you were in close contact with someone who tested positive...While you’ll get specific guidance from a public health worker, typically you should get tested and quarantine for up to 14 days. Make sure to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, like a fever, cough or shortness of breath. If your symptoms worsen or become severe, seek immediate medical care.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19... A positive result can be nerve-wracking, but don’t panic — around 97% of people who contract coronavirus recover. To keep from passing the virus onto others, be sure to isolate until a health professional gives you clearance (typically 10 days from symptom onset). You can also help us with contact tracing, a proven health practice that has helped save countless lives. Answer the call from IL COVID HELP — that’s one of our public health workers who will reach out to you and your close contacts to provide health guidance, answer questions and offer support.

Share your safe holiday moments


Say “bah, humbug” to gatherings

Say “bah, humbug” to gatherings

As much as we want to celebrate like any other year, regular holiday get-togethers are extremely risky right now. Staying home and avoiding unnecessary activities is the best gift you can give this season. (Scroll up for our 12 ways to holiday safely!) But if you choose to gather anyways, here are some tips to reduce your risk of turning a family dinner into a superspreader event.

Keep gatherings as small as possible.

  • Keep gatherings as small as possible. Being in close quarters with people outside of your household greatly increases the risk of virus transmission.
  • Self-quarantine for 2 weeks prior to minimize risk
  • Consider driving instead of flying or taking public transportation
  • Eat and socialize outdoors if you can
  • Don’t forget the basics: practice mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing
  • Quarantine if you travel so you don’t bring the virus back
  • If following guidelines isn’t possible, stay home and get a 365-day start on next year’s holiday planning

When to hunker down away from others

Please don’t mingle with anyone if you:

  • Have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19
  • Recently tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
  • Had close contact in the past 14 days with someone who tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19

If you have been asked to quarantine, do so for the full 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Check out the full IDPH holiday safety guidelines