Health Dept. offering resources for safe holiday celebrations

Press Staff Writer

        Wood County Health Department is offering resources to help those looking to celebrate holidays safely and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
        This includes a three-pronged approach to making holiday celebrations safer.
        • A contest with cash prizes to share how you’re safely celebrating this year.
        • A holiday-themed quiz with information on planning a safer gathering.
        • A COVID-19 pledge to do five things that will help Wood County drive its cases down.
        Details can be found on the Holiday Planning page of the Health Department’s COVID-19 website at
        The COVID-19 Holiday Contest allows Wood County residents and BGSU students to submit videos showing how they did things differently this year to be safer while celebrating a holiday. Videos will be shared on the Health Department’s website and social media.
        The contest winner will be awarded a cash prize of no less than $1,000. The size and number of prizes will increase based on donations received for the contest. The currently available number of prizes and the amount of each prize will be maintained on the WCHD Holiday Planning webpage. Individuals or businesses that would like to contribute to this campaign should reach out to their local chambers of commerce or business associations or contact the health department at
        The contest includes all holidays through New Year’s Day. Videos must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6. All entries must follow all recommended safety guidelines and demonstrate how to safely celebrate with more than one household.
        All entrants who met the contest guidelines will be eligible to be considered for the finalist group. Finalists will be those individuals whose plans are judged to be the most innovative or creative by a panel of judges. Winners will be selected by drawing from among the finalist group. Full contest details and rules will be available online.
        “This exciting contest is a fun way to celebrate those who are taking creative and essential steps to keep our community safe,” said Alex Aspacher, Wood County Health Department Community Outreach Coordinator.
        Wood County Health Department Safe holiday plans include limiting travel, celebrating with those in your household, virtually celebrating with friends and family not in your household, consistently washing hands, and wearing a mask when you need to go out. “These precautions will save lives,” Aspacher said. “This contest will help encourage, inspire and celebrate those making safe decisions.”
        A fun, holiday-themed quiz, also found on the Holiday Planning page, provides information on the keys to a safer celebration. Take the quiz at
        No matter which holidays you celebrate, Wood County Health Department is asking for the community to come together and pledge to keep one another safe as COVID-19 cases are on the rise heading into the holiday season.
        The health department is asking community members to pledge to these five things starting now through Jan. 6:
        • I pledge to follow all public health guidelines including wearing a mask in public, maintaining a 6-foot social distance and washing my hands regularly.
        •  I pledge to limit the size and number of social gatherings I attend.
        • I pledge to change how I celebrate holidays to limit my contact with those outside my household as much as possible.
        • I pledge to stay home if anyone in my household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, and I will consult with my health care provider to determine if testing is needed.
        • I will be an ambassador for public health in my community and ask at least 10 other people to take this pledge with me.
        “This list was created out of tried-and-true methods to limit the spread of COVID-19. If Wood County residents follow this pledge it will save lives, help health-care facilities, and be another positive step toward getting our economy back,” Aspacher said. “We encourage our community to share their pledge on social media using the hashtag #COVIDPledge. This year has brought negativity; let’s share positivity and encourage each other for pledging to be safe.”
        By taking this pledge, our community is standing up for the safety of our most vulnerable. Do your part, be proud of your decision and share it with others.
        The mission of the Wood County Health Department is to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health of everyone in Wood County. The Community Health Center provides comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. All patients are welcome, including uninsured or underinsured clients, regardless of an ability to pay. Most third-party insurances are accepted. For more information, visit


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