<< Back

Go Ahead, Celebrate Easter by Following These Guidelines

March 30, 2021

Cautious optimism guides infectious disease experts to the spring holidays and beyond as COVID-19 lingers but increased vaccination rates offer hope of fewer restrictions.

Unlike other holidays in the year since the pandemic began, the spring religious holidays can be a little more festive and spent with family and friends as long as standard precautions are followed, according to Keith Grant, APRN, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare.

“The Centers for Disease Control recently released changing guidelines, making it a good time for us to appreciate the benefits of vaccination,” Grant said, referring to less stringent recommendations for gatherings based on increased COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country. “You still need to be aware of the individuals within your circle and identify people at high risk. It is a pandemic with significant mortality so please be as safe as possible.”

This, he added, includes wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible in groups where not all people are vaccinated.

“If someone is symptomatic, please stay away from your family and get tested if possible,” Grant said.

Being tested before gatherings, however, does not definitively highlight risk because the virus has a 14-day incubation period.

“(The test) is a snapshot in time,” Grant said. “The most important thing is to keep an eye out for symptoms.”

On a national level, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this weekend predicted a gradual return to the typical rites of summer such as baseball games and summer camps for children.

Children, who will likely not be eligible for vaccination until late summer or fall, should still wear masks when playing with others to prevent infection. Of summer camp, Dr. Fauci said it is “conceivable that will be possible.”

This, he said, is due to the increased push to vaccinate Americans, which will drive the rate and level of infection down to a “much lower level” and give people “a good degree of flexibility during the summer.”

With Opening Day looming, this could also apply to attending baseball games during the 2021 season, Dr. Fauci said. Physical distancing between seated fans and masks would still be necessary, he added. Currently, the capacity at ballparks is limited by local government restrictions.