There’s definitely some renewed hesitancy around company holiday parties, though there’s a serious sense of COVID fatigue setting in, as well. We all know that people are ready to get back to holiday parties! We also know that a Norwegian office party last week made headlines after over 60 people were infected, many with Omicron. Some of our clients are continuing with pared down holiday parties, or events planned outdoors in areas where that’s possible. Others have added mandatory testing within 24 or 48 hours of the party and again once a few days later, to help reduce the risk. Many have decided to move forward with their pre-Omicron plans with whatever precautions they already had in place. We recommend testing for all attendees, even those who are vaccinated, to help reduce the risk.
Whether to travel or not right now definitely depends on your personal comfort with risk. The new variant is here in the US, and case counts are up by nearly 30% compared to just two weeks ago. Unvaccinated people should delay travel until they’re fully vaccinated. For those who are vaccinated, getting a booster dose before you travel is a great way to help prevent the spread of the new Omicron variant. Testing regularly - before, during, and after your trip - is also a good idea. Make plans to self-isolate if you feel sick or test positive at any point in your trip, and know where you’ll stay if that happens. In general, wearing a mask, ventilating indoor spaces well, and washing your hands regularly are still the best methods for staying safe - other than being vaccinated and boosted, of course!
This depends - it’s very possible that they’re still good but you’ll need to do some homework to check for the specific brand you have. The FDA has extended expiration dates for many of the manufacturers - anywhere from six to twelve additional months.You’ll need to check the website for the manufacturer of your kit (and consider cross-referencing that against the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization site also.
This is a common theme that we’re seeing repeatedly with schools and even local health departments. It’s entirely up to the school if they want to choose a policy that’s as strict or more so than the CDC recommendations. The CDC still technically recommends 14 days of quarantine for unvaccinated people who are exposed, but defers to local health departments and says that they may choose the option to keep someone out for 10 days without testing. Confusing, we know! While most schools and health departments are choosing the 10-day option, some are sticking with 14 for unvaxxed people who are exposed. In these cases, we recommend deferring to the school’s recommended quarantine as long as it matches or exceeds the CDC’s level of caution. Nobody wants to find out that their cashier is working today because they aren’t allowed at school - it’s just not a good look.