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For holiday parties, CDC says using a window fan is advisable

The agency's guidance on upcoming celebrations includes gathering outdoors and staying 6 feet apart.
Holiday travelers wearing face masks are seen at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Holiday travelers walk through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., on Dec. 23, 2020.Ting Shen / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for the upcoming holiday season include the idea of using a window fan to keep air at an indoor party as fresh as possible.

The CDC appears to be suggesting that circulating air indoors can ward off the airborne coronavirus, or at least reduce its chances of spreading during home gatherings.

"If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible," its holiday celebrations guidance states. "You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows."

That said, even if the worst of summer's pandemic wave might have passed, the CDC would much rather Americans not gather indoors with loved ones or visitors this winter.

It recommends getting together only with members of a household, meeting remote family and friends virtually or, if necessary, "Have an outdoor celebration with everyone at least 6 feet apart."

Those who have to venture to events should be vaccinated, the CDC said. And they should wear masks in communities with high rates of Covid-19 spread or when the vaccination status of others is unknown, even if parties are outdoors, the CDC said.

The agency said unvaccinated people should not travel and pointed out that masks are still required on public transportation.

CORRECTION (Oct. 4, 2021, 9:30 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of the CDC’s latest holiday guidance. The recommendations were issued earlier this year, not on Saturday.