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“Home Safe for the Holidays” initiative launched to promote a safe holiday season
MASSPIRG urges people to follow public health protocols to limit spread of the corona virus
Boston- At the time of year that many Americans usually start making holiday travel plans, the consumer advocacy group, MASSPIRG, as part of USPIRG, a federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, are launching a national “Home Safe for the Holidays” initiative.
The initiative calls on state Governors to commit to hitting the testing target that the Brown School of Public Health and Harvard Global Health Institute say is necessary to effectively suppress the coronavirus. Governors should also ensure test results are returned in 48 hours or less, which is the time frame health professionals recommend as important for preventing small incidents from becoming outbreaks.
While Massachusetts is the only state to hit its testing target according to the new model from the Brown School of Public Health and Harvard Global Health Institute, advocates say people need to stay vigilant in the practice basic public health measures.
As virus levels rise in Massachusetts and has put the state in the “trending poorly” category this week according to the Covid Exit Strategy Map, it’s important that Baystaters don’t get complacent, especially as the holidays approach.
“Most years, Americans celebrate the holidays with family and close friends. But this isn’t most years. No one wants to get their parents or grandparents sick. The only way we can safely congregate is if everyone who needs a test, gets a test; we continue to trace and isolate; and if we follow basic health protocols like mask wearing and social distancing,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG’s legislative director.
For months, health experts have laid out how to contain this virus and save lives. In August, nearly 1,400 health professionals signed a letter calling on decision-makers at all levels of government to lower the number of virus cases by closing non-essential businesses and to only reopen once states have built robust testing and tracing capacity. Some of the nation’s top economists joined the call to make clear that rushing to reopen before squashing the virus would backfire and prolong economic damage.
For a more in-depth analysis of what we need to have a semblance of a normal holiday season, check out this blog from U.S. PIRG’s Public Health Campaigns Director Matt Wellington and Dr. Syra Madad, the senior director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health & Hospitals.
The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG) is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in democratic society. MASSPIRG is part of USPIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups.
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