PGH-HICU recommends ‘open-air’ Christmas parties

| Written by Padayon UP

The Philippine General Hospital-Hospital Infection Control Unit (PGH-HICU) has recommended on Saturday, Nov. 27, an open-air setup for Christmas parties and year-end events.

In its released guideline, PGH-HICU said that while virtual programs are preferred, face-to-face Christmas parties can be held in rooms where the doors and windows can be opened up to maintain good air circulation.

Meanwhile, face-to-face games, singing, and other similar activities are also allowed but the participants must strictly wear face masks during the entire event.

Christmas carolings inside offices are also allowed if all performers will remain masked during the entire performance.

“If the indoor set-up is preferred, the exact number of individuals who will be allowed in these activities will be dictated by the duration of activities, the use of air purifiers and High Efficiency Particulate Air filters,” the guide read.

“A Carbon Dioxide monitor should also be used to show that good air quality is maintained at a level of less than 800 parts per million,” it added.

All forms of Christmas buffets, banquets, and other forms of “salu-salo” (shared food) from common pots or platters are discouraged. Instead, packed meals set-up is preferred even in an open-air set-up.

“Eating together will only be allowed in an open-air set-up. Eating together inside enclosed spaces is discouraged regardless of vaccination status of staff, and can only be done if a 1-meter distance can be ensured between people using a staggered schedule,” PGH-HICU said.

PGH-HICU also recommended against long queues to distribute food and overnight events to celebrate Christmas.

(This article, written by Gabriela Baron, was first published in the Manila Bulletin Website on November 27, 2021)