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Tips to prevent holiday spread of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), COVID-19 and Influenza

Dave Alley / KEYT

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – To prepare for a healthy holiday season, SLO County Public Health provided some tips on how to prevent and avoid the current spread of viruses in the county.

"Respiratory viruses are spreading more than usual right now but there are things you can do to make your gatherings safer for yourself and loved ones, while helping SLO County avoid a major surge," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. "The most important thing you can do is stay home and away from others if you’re sick, even if you test negative for COVID-19."

According to public health, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19 are spreading widely in the county.

Here are the tips provided by SLO County Public Health:

  • Stay home if you are sick, even if you test negative for COVID-19.
  • Know before you go. It is still a good idea to test for COVID-19 1-3 days before travel or gatherings and again 3-5 days after you return home. This helps interrupt asymptomatic spread and makes it possible to get treatment if needed.
  • Keep gatherings small. Small, local gatherings continue to be the safest.
  • Gather outdoors if possible. If you need to meet indoors, be sure to circulate plenty of fresh air with open windows and doors.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and phones. Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay up-to-date on flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Both the flu shot and updated COVID-19 vaccine are a good match for the strains circulating right now.
  • Wear a mask (N95 or KN95) for added protection in crowds, especially indoors. For many, masking in the days prior to a gathering helps protect the opportunity to celebrate.

"I’m thankful we are in a better situation with COVID-19 than we were this time last year, and thankful to the people who have worked tirelessly to help us reach this point," said Dr. Borenstein. "I also recognize that since last Thanksgiving, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 191 of our neighbors here in SLO County. My heart goes out to those who are grieving this season. As we gather to celebrate and reflect, I encourage all of us to take steps to protect each other and our community."

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit

Public health phone support is available at 805-781-5500 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For previous coverage on recent RSV and COVID-19 information, visit:

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respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
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Lily Dallow

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