Fall and winter can mean traveling and gathering indoors with friends and family. These guidelines can help us keep each other safe from COVID-19.

Gathering safely

Guidelines:

  1. Get vaccinated. Vaccination is our best protection to keep people from getting very sick from all variants of COVID-19.

  2. Wear a mask indoors.

  3. When outdoors, consider wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart when you are spending time in crowds or gatherings, especially if you are not vaccinated, have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of serious illness or live with someone in one of these categories (read the health guidance here).

  4. Wash your hands as often as you can.

  5. Disinfect surfaces that are touched often -- door knobs, car doors, steering wheels and phones.

  6. Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and the phone number of a health care provider or community health worker you can call if someone gets sick. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 211.

  7. Make a plan so that if someone at home does get sick, they can be isolated as much as possible until they recover.

Risk levels:

Until everyone gets the vaccine, there are still steps we all can take to protect our communities from getting very sick from COVID-19.

Low risk

  • Staying home

  • Spending time outdoors by yourself

  • Spending time with people you live with

  • Spending time with people you don’t live with, but who have also been vaccinated

  • Spending time outdoors with others and staying 6 feet apart

Medium risk

  • Spending time indoors in public spaces while vaccinated, wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart

High risk

  • Not being vaccinated

  • Spending time in crowds and gatherings without wearing a mask

  • Spending time indoors or within 6 feet outdoors with people who have also not been vaccinated

Gathering with friends and family

Many gatherings are a time of fellowship and celebration. With vaccinations and boosters now readily available, the risk of infection is different for everyone. If you and the people you gather with are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, your risks will be lower. But some vaccinated people still get sick with COVID-19 or can spread it to others. So here are some ways to stay safe during gatherings no matter the occasion.

  • Get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with a booster when you are eligible to protect yourself and those around you.

  • It’s okay to ask if others are vaccinated before getting together with people you don’t live with. You can choose to stay home or find other ways to connect if you feel nervous.

  • Masks are no longer required in most public settings (see where they are still required here), but they are still effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended you continue to wear a mask and stay 6 feet from others when gathering if you:

    • Are not vaccinated

    • Are over age 65

    • Have a weakened immune system

    • Have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19

    • Live with someone in one of these categories

  • Avoid poorly ventilated spaces, especially when in a crowd.

  • Keep the air flowing by opening windows or running a fan or air purifier if possible.

  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick or unwell, and don’t host any gatherings.

  • Wash your hands often.

Travel

  • Only travel once you are fully vaccinated, and boosted if you are eligible.

  • Because you are likely to be exposed to COVID-19, consider continuing to wear a mask (everyone 2 and older) on public transportation and while in airports and bus or train stations.

  • Wash your hands often and stay 6 feet apart from others when possible.

  • Get tested 1–3 days before your trip if traveling unvaccinated and avoid gathering in crowds before and during travel.

Underlying medical conditions / weakened immune systems

Take extra care if you have an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 or if you take medications that weaken your immune system.

It is recommended that you continue to wear a mask that fits snugly over your nose and mouth whenever you’re around people, even if you’re fully vaccinated and have had a booster.

We hope you’ll stay safe and healthy during gatherings all year long. Find vaccine and boosters by calling 211, visiting your local pharmacy or doctor’s office, or using GetVaccinated.Oregon.gov.