UT Health San Antonio urges people to ‘be COVID cautious’ over the holidays

Masks, staying 6-feet apart still best protection, doctor says

Local doctors urge residents to stay cautious during the holidays

SAN ANTONIO – With Christmas and New Year’s still ahead, UT Health San Antonio urges the public to “be COVID cautious” even more so now.

The COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available to the general public, and city and county leaders say San Antonio and Bexar County have seen record-setting days for cases of the virus that is also spreading within households.

“The only way to completely protect yourself from the likelihood of infection, of course, is not to be in contact with anyone over the holiday season,” said Dr. Fred Campbell. “That seems impractical for all but the highest risk individuals.”

Campbell says it’s not too late to take the needed precautions, pointing out that face masks and staying six feet apart are the best combination. Even so, he says those precautions only reduce the risk indoors by about 5%.

“Outside is a much safer place to be and smaller groups, of course, with greater distancing,” Campbell said.

Improving ventilation indoors helps, but even then, the gathering should be limited to as few people as possible from outside your household, Campbell said.

“The most important individuals that we can protect right now are going to be high-risk individuals, both from advanced age and multiple medical conditions,” he said.

Campbell said high-risk individuals should be protected at all costs to “reduce the risk of mortality and serious consequences.”

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.