BARNSTABLE – As the holiday travel season begins, local health experts are urging residents to use safe practices amid an expected increase in flu and COVID cases.
“Most people will spend more time indoors. The holidays are upon us, people are socializing, and contagious viruses like COVID will spread much more easily,” Barnstable County Public Health Nurse Wendy Judd said.
She said travelers should test for COVID before going on any trips and stay home if they test positive. She also encouraged residents to continue to wear masks and wash their hands frequently.
As the health care system nationwide also battles RSV this season, Judd said precautions against the virus are increasingly important.
She added that private insurance and Medicare will pay for up to eight COVID tests per month.
“So basically, they would go to their pharmacies, some of them on the website are CVS, Rite-Aid and Walgreens — just to name a few — which insurances will cover to get tests that way . We encourage that,” Judd said.
She also highlighted an upcoming vaccine clinic hosted by the county on Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Barnstable County Complex, which will have both flu vaccines and updated bivalent COVID boosters available.
Pre-registration is required for the clinic, which can be done on the Barnstable County website.
Vaccines can also be found through vaxfinder.mass.govthe official source of state vaccine research.
You can listen to the full Sunday Journal interview with Judd here.