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Doing your part to avoid bringing COVID-19 home for the holidays

Last holiday season saw a serious surge of COVID-19, but health experts say the vaccine might keep those numbers down.

TOLEDO, Ohio — "I'm going to assure that the gathering is much smaller and much shorter," explained Carole Smith, a Toledoan. "I'm going to be in and out."

Locals like Smith say the pandemic isn't going to stop them from having Thanksgiving next week, but they're also going into the holiday with some caution.

"I have, I got my booster about two weeks ago," Smith confirmed.

"I've had three shots, one booster," said Dick Reder, another Toledo native.

Dr. James Tita with Mercy Health St. Vincent's says these people have the right idea.

"We know vaccinated people, even if they have a breakthrough infection, are much less infectious than those vaccinated," Tita explained.

While the folks WTOL 11 talked to seem to agree that vaccines keep them safer, they differed on whether or not they would go to a party with others who haven't gotten the shot.

"I just don't care. If other people have gotten the shot? Great. If they haven't? Okay. I'm alright," said Reder. "That's really all that concerns me."

Which is in sharp contrast with Smith's opinion.

"I would not go. And so that does -- and I do have unvaccinated people in my family -- so, that makes the crowd smaller," said Smith.

Tita says that if you do end up going to a family gathering with people who might be unvaccinated or you don't know if they are, there are ways to try to stay as safe as possible.

"Keep your distance, try to stay about 6 feet apart, limit your exposure," said Tita. "We know that a significant exposure to COVID is in excess of about 15 minutes. Mask when you're able to, and that's probably the most important."

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