By Raetta Holdman

DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time in more than a year, Coloradans are making plans for a maskless holiday. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida explained what we need to do to stay safe over Memorial Day weekend during his weekly question and answer session on CBSN Denver.

“First off, I am very pleased about the fact that we have such effective vaccinations and it changes everything,” Hnida said.

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Last year, the advice was not to have get-togethers and if people did, the number of people should be limited and food and utensils should not be shared.

The situation is obviously very different this year, but Hnida said there are still some safety considerations.

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“When you consider the fact that there are outdoor activities (coming up this weekend and this summer) which are much lower risk, that’s great and that’s a real positive at this point in time. Then when we get to large gatherings mixing vaccinated and unvaccinated people in indoor settings, definitely unvaccinated people should be masked up.”

Hnida said it’s also important not to go to any gathering if you are sick, pointing out illnesses other than COVID-19 are circulating.

He also recommends doing your own risk assessment, looking at who in your circle may not be vaccinated or may have underlying health conditions.

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“We’re not out of the woods but certainly looking a lot better than we were a year ago.”

Raetta Holdman