CDC’s holiday questions

If your family is thinking about gathering for the holidays with friends or relatives, these answers to common questions from the CDC might help you stay safe.

• What is the COVID-19 level in your community? The infection level will shape the risk level of your gathering.

• Where are you gathering? Indoors is riskier than outdoors; indoors with poor air circulation is worst of all.

• What’s the duration of your gathering? Long ones are riskier.

• How many guests are you expecting? The fewer the people, the safer. Many jurisdictions have limits on how many people may gather in public.

• Where are your guests from? “Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk,” the CDC says.

• How has this group behaved in the past? The less people tend to wash their hands, wear masks and keep distance, the greater the risk.

• Do you want your guests to quarantine for 14 days before your get-together? Do you want them to get COVID-tested beforehand? If you ask them to skip the hugs and wear a mask when they’re not eating, will they?

• Is everyone healthy enough for this? The following people shouldn’t join any in-person holiday celebrations: those suffering symptoms of COVID-19; those who have been diagnosed with it and have not met criteria for when it is safe to gather with others; people who may have been exposed to someone with the virus in the previous 14 days; and people at increased risk of severe illness from the disease.

Los Angeles Times

Delta: No middle till March

Delta Air Lines will continue blocking middle seats through March 30, setting it apart from its largest U.S. rivals. Recent medical research has shown that the risk of contracting the coronavirus on airplanes is very low when passengers wear masks, underpinning other large U.S. airlines’ policies to sell all available seats on their planes. But Delta is betting that people are willing to pay a premium for more space. The airline, which is the dominant carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul, separately rolled out a new tool on its website for passengers to see updated COVID-19 restrictions in cities and countries where it flies.

Reuters

No Mardi Gras parades

The raucous Mardi Gras parades where riders on elaborate floats toss trinkets to adoring throngs have been canceled in New Orleans because the close-packed crowds could spread the coronavirus. Mayor LaToya Cantrell has asked the public for safe-celebration suggestions. City spokesman Beau Tidwell said that no parades will roll during the weeks leading up to and including Fat Tuesday (Feb. 16). The cancellation is based largely on a 250-person cap on outdoor crowds, Tidwell said. “You can’t have traditional parades with that small a group,” he said.

Associated Press