Planning for the Holidays

Believe it or not, November is upon us and the holidays are suddenly around the corner. While this holiday season will look a lot different than last year with new vaccines and updated CDC guidelines, COVID-19 is still present in the community, country, and around the world. Therefore, it should still be taken into consideration as you plan your holiday festivities.

The safest thing one can do if attending a holiday gathering this year is to get vaccinated. This can also help protect anyone who is not yet eligible for a vaccine (young children). Call your primary care provider to schedule your vaccine, or visit WellSpan Health, Keystone Health or

WellSpan Community Health & Engagement is now offering a no-cost flu and COVID-19 vaccine for uninsured or underinsured individuals through their H.O.P.E. Vaccine Voucher campaign in collaboration with Rite Aid. Community Members can access the voucher here.

According to the CDC, additional ways to stay safe this holiday season include:

  • Wearing a well-fitted mask over your nose and mouth if you are not fully vaccinated and in a public, indoor setting. Outdoor is also safer than being indoors if possible.
  • If you are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19, be sure not to host or attend gatherings.
  • Get yourself and those attending the gathering tested for COVID-19 beforehand.

Special circumstances will also need to be considered for individuals who are taking medications that weaken their immune systems, as they may not be fully protected even if they have been fully vaccinated. For this reason, it is appropriate for them to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated individuals.

Additional information about safe practices during the holidays can be found here. The CDC also recommends delaying travel if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and need to travel for the holidays, CDC recommendations can be found here.

The CDC also provides additional FAQ’s on their website about event planning.

November is also National Diabetes Month. You can find information on upcoming programs offered by WellSpan Health that focus on managing diabetes, preventing type two diabetes, and staying healthy over the holidays below.

FREE Diabetes Prevention Programs During November

  • In collaboration with Capital Blue Cross, WellSpan Health will be hosting Virtual Holiday Wellness Workshops on November 11th and 17th. The workshops will discuss three concepts to managing wellness over the holidays: staying moving, choosing healthy foods, and managing stress. Register for the workshops on November 11th and November 17th.
  • A 4-week Diabetes Management Class will begin on November 9th and focuses on managing diabetes by living a healthier, more active lifestyle. Each week of the program is explained in more detail below. Register for the class here.
    • Week 1: Diabetes 101 -- What is diabetes? What do the numbers mean? What affects my numbers? What meds are prescribed? What “should” I eat?
    • Week 2: More About Diet -- Virtual grocery shopping. Decoding the food label, calories/carbs/protein/fat. What’s best for me?
    • Week 3: Thanksgiving is Coming. What Do I Do Now? -- What is mindful eating? Planning for special occasions, the importance of good sleep and stress management.
    • Week 4: Staying Motivated -- How are you doing? Learn from experiences. Food is fuel. Find support. You can do this!
  • Free sessions of the nationally recognized CDC evidence-based program called PreventT2 will be offered beginning on November 4th. This program has been proven to help those with pre-diabetes make lifestyle changes that can cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than half. Sign up today if you:
  • Have ever been told by your doctor that you have pre-diabetes and/or at risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • Are 45 years or older
  • Overweight
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are physically active less than 3 times per week
  • If you had diabetes while pregnant.

If you think you may be at risk or have already been told by your physician that you have pre-diabetes, please join us for an Introduction Session to find out more about the program.

An introduction class will be held on November 4, 2021 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm and the first class will begin on November 11, 2021. It is highly recommended that anyone interested in this program attends the introduction class. Register here.