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CDC releases holiday gathering advice amid COVID-19 concerns

Health experts suggest celebrating outdoors, with physical distancing and masks.

CLEVELAND — Planning on getting together for the holidays?  The CDC has some advice.  

While some suggestions are common sense and the same as last year, others may not be feasible during a northeast Ohio winter. 

They suggest celebrating outdoors, with physical distancing and masks. Perhaps possible if our temperatures stay where they are until January, but that's unlikely.  So if you have indoor celebrations, they suggest opening a window and putting a fan in it to circulate clean air. Again, that might depend on Mother Nature. Safest celebrations are when everyone is vaccinated and are boostered. If that's not possible, you might consider the virtual celebration for one more year, especially for the unvaccinated. 

RELATED: CDC offers more COVID advice, Fauci says 'too soon to tell' on safety of Christmas gatherings

Johnson and Johnson's booster may be getting a boost from the FDA. The New York Times is reporting the company will request emergency use authorization as early as this week.  A meeting to discuss it is already scheduled for October 15th.  J&J's preliminary data showed a booster given six months after the initial shot improved efficacy to 95 percent, which is on par with Pfizer and Moderna. 

And if you like checking the Ohio COVID dashboard, there are some new updates to tell you about. 

The case definition has been updated to reflect reinfections. Those who were re-infected with COVID 90 or more days after a previous infection will now be counted as a new case as of September 1st. 

In the vaccination dropdown, you can now see how many Ohioans received their booster dose. We're at over 185,000 so far. Previous updates include a variant watch. You can see which variant is circulating most in Ohio and yes, it's still predominantly delta. 

RELATED: Ohio launches COVID variant dashboard

Also the state is tracking hospitalizations and deaths based on vaccine status. As of last Thursday, nearly 28,000 unvaccinated Ohioans have been hospitalized since January 1, compared to just over a thousand vaccinated. Also, more than 8,000 unvaccinated Ohioans have died compared to 146 fully vaccinated.  

'We need to remain vigilant': Ohio health officials address data indicating COVID peak, announce dashboard updates

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