Celebrating holidays with family - and avoiding catching Covid, the flu, or RSV

The next few weeks will be vital to the future health of residents. As many people gather for holiday dinners or New Year's Eve parties, health officials are concerned it could lead to a rise in Covid, the flu, and RSV.

Detroit health officials spoke on Tuesday about the possibility of more residents getting sick over the next few weeks as friends and family get together.

This year it's not just Covid that has raised health officials fears. It's also the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV. 

"The vaccine is one of the most powerful tools in our toolkit to prevent Covid or to prevent severe disease with Covid and also the flu which is very high right now in Michigan and Detroit," said Detroit Health Department Dr. Claudia Richardson.

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Officials are not telling people not to visit - but they are asking people to be smart and take the necessary precautions.

"If you’re with someone who is at a risk for a respiratory illness or getting very sick consider wearing a mask," Dr. Richardson said.

Medical professionals say if you know you're sick, stay home. The best way to know if you are infected with the flu or Covid is to get tested

"That includes Covid tests and Michiganders now have access to free Covid tests you can go to Covidtest.org and order them right away
You can also purchase Covid test kits for you and your loved ones," Dr. Richardson said.

Aside from masks and vaccinations - handwashing and social distancing help reduce the spread of viruses.