More Americans are planning holiday parties without masks this year as Covid vaccine rates climb, study shows

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  • Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center selected 2,042 adults nationwide on holiday COVID precautions from October 29 to November 1.
  • They found that 51% would ask party-goers to wear masks, down from 67%, showed the survey published on Monday.
  • Half of those surveyed would ask the vaccination status of their guests, while 46% would require a negative COVID test from unvaccinated friends and family.

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Fewer Americans plan to take precautions against Covid-19 this year by hosting or attending holiday celebrations than last year, indicating a return to normalcy now that 59% of the country is vaccinated against the virus. has been applied.

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Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center surveyed 2,042 adults nationwide from October 29 to November 1, finding that 51% would ask party-goers to wear masks, down from 67%, according to the survey published Monday. Get to know from. Half of those surveyed would ask about the vaccination status of their friends and family.

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But the anti-vaccine and anti-mask sentiment isn’t necessarily to blame, says Dr. Ian Gonsenhauser said. Vaccinated Americans are also starting to feel more comfortable seeing each other without masks, and groups of fully immunized individuals can enjoy the holidays together “with basically no precautions,” he said. They said.

“I was very surprised to see that 51% were still considering asking attendees to wear masks,” Gonsenhauser said. “I think what we’ve seen is a change in understanding and approach to risk reduction, especially with a significant proportion of vaccinated individuals.”

Some 50% of respondents said they would not ask if their attendees were vaccinated, while 54% of those surveyed said they would not need to show proof of a negative COVID test to unvaccinated guests. The challenges of obtaining a test reduce the public’s need for a negative result from its attendees, Gonsenhauser said.

US health leaders are urging Americans to get their vaccines and booster shots before the holidays, after Covid cases hit a high of more than 250,000 per day in the weeks since last Christmas. Gonsenhauser warned that a more serious wave of cases could flare up again after the holidays, fueled by the country’s nearly 60 million unaffiliated individuals.

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To mitigate against another outbreak, Gonsenhauser recommended limiting celebrations specifically to vaccinations. When that’s not possible, Gonsenhauser said hosts should require that guests disclose their immunization status and that their unvaccinated guests wear masks.

Researchers still found that 76% of participants would ask that attendees with COVID symptoms avoid their gatherings, while 72% specifically planned to celebrate with members of their household. Those figures dropped from 82% and 79%, respectively, in 2020.

After nearly three weeks of relatively level cases, with Thanksgiving, the US is seeing another spike in infections. The nationwide seven-day average reached nearly 83,500 on Monday, up 14% from a week earlier, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccines are the “first step” to protect against COVID this holiday season and remain an effective shield against hospitalization and death, said Dr., chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Businesshala School of Public Health. Arturo Casadeval said in an email. CNBC. He called on families to vaccinate their vulnerable relatives, adding that those showing symptoms of the disease should get tested for Covid before gathering for Thanksgiving.

“Without vaccination my advice is to get vaccinated immediately, as even partial immunity at Thanksgiving dinner is better than no immunity at all,” Casadeval wrote. “Every family needs to have a risk assessment.”

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