Protect Family and Friends During the Winter Holidays and Beyond

Published on November 15, 2022

Temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter, and we are headed into our third holiday season since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) strongly recommends everyone who is eligible get the Omicron booster in time for holiday gatherings for maximum protection from COVID-19. It’s the best way to protect yourself and loved ones as we anticipate a winter wave of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and flu.

The updated booster shot targets both the original strain of COVID-19, the dominant Omicron variant and its highly contagious subvariants. This vaccine is a different formula than the original vaccine and booster, designed to protect against current variants of the virus, which makes it that much more important to get ahead of the holiday season. DDPHE recommends anyone who is eligible for the Omicron booster get it at least two weeks before your winter holiday event. Appointments are readily available for the Omicron booster and are vaccines are free.

In addition to getting up to date on the COVID-19 vaccination series, DDPHE has the following holiday gathering safety tips:\

One week prior to your event:

  • If your holiday gathering will include high-risk individuals like young kids or those over the age of 65, consider wearing a face covering in crowded public areas, like grocery stores, big box stores, airports, etc., Make sure everyone is vaccinated for the flu.

Two days before and the day of your event:

After the event:

  • If you start showing symptoms of flu or COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider to seek testing and treatment. Effective treatment for COVID-19 is available if it is administered within five to seven days of symptom onset.

DDPHE continues to urge everyone to be mindful and take precautions when going about their fall and winter routines. Practice good hygiene habits, and if you feel sick, stay home and get tested. More information and resources are available at