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University of Nebraska Medical Center

It’s Covid Season. What Are the New Rules for Staying Safe?

NYT A primer on how to minimize your risk and know when you’re in the clear after an exposure.

We want to be done with Covid. But the virus isn’t done with us.

While cases are not as high as they were at the end of this summer, newer variants are spreading, and experts predict that the patterns often seen over the last three years of the pandemic — the temperature drops, people cluster indoors, cases rise — will play out again this fall. That means it might be time to take stock (yes, again) of how you can minimize your risk.

“It continues to be a moving target, and I think that continues to be hard for people,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

As the holiday season approaches, here is a quick refresher on how to navigate the pandemic.

You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again: Masks can help you protect yourself and others from becoming sick. So can washing your hands thoroughly and not touching your face with unwashed hands, said Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at Cleveland Clinic.

The updated Covid vaccines can also reduce your chances of being infected, and especially cut down on your risk of serious illness, said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the chief of research and development at the V.A. St. Louis Healthcare System.

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