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DPH cautions safety during holidays

The Department of Public Health (DPH) is cautioning people to be cautious and remain healthy during the holidays, according to a press release by the DPH. 

“COVID-19 cases are on the rise in District 2 Public Health counties,” the release said. “Vaccination remains the most important part of COVID-19 holiday safety protocols. Get vaccinated or get a booster shot, wear a mask if gathering indoors, social distance and wash your hands.” 

According to the release, the Delta variant is still the most prevalent variant in Georgia and accounts for more than 90 percent of the cases in the state. The Omicron variant is also proving to be a fast spreading variant, the release said, so it is important to remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable. 

“The continued use of mitigation strategies will reduce the stress on hospitals and healthcare workers, while also keeping elderly and immunocompromised family members safe,” the release said. “If gathering with friends and family who are both vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance to reduce the chance of spreading or contracting COVID-19.” 

Anyone 16 years and older who received the vaccine at least six months ago with two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna or received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least two months ago is eligible for a booster shot, the release said. 

PCR tests are available at six drive-through sites in Forsyth, Franklin, Hall, Lumpkin and Union counties, the release said. Forsyth County and Sherwood Plaza in Hall County will be the only testing sites open on Thursday, Dec. 23, and all testing sites will be closed on Christmas Eve. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination, go to