OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)

New Year’s Eve brings with it all the parties and get-togethers that we might have foregone during the height of the pandemic.

But there are still a lot of viruses swirling—from RSV and Strep to flu, COVID and even pneumonia.

At the Ohio County Health Department, they say three simple steps can decrease your chances of getting—or giving—an illness for the new year.

The first is the most basic: wash your hands.

“The viruses that we see circulating can be passed very quickly because we’re coughing into our hands and therefore we’re touching things, we’re passing that virus,” explained Howard Gamble, administrator of the Ohio County Health Department. “Number two, if you’re sick, stay home. Even if you think it’s mild, stay home. Number three is get vaccinated. Get vaccinated for COVID, stay up to date on your boosters as well as get vaccinated for flu.”

Gamble stresses the importance of staying home if you’re sick.

He says it could be anything from a cold to RSV to pneumonia.

He says if you go out while sick, you will pass it to someone.

Otherwise, if you’re healthy, vaccinated and practicing good hygiene, by all means don’t hesitate to gather with family or friends.

And have a happy New Year!