December 18, 2023

Wishing You A Healthy Holiday Season!

We at Cambridge Public Health wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season! The holiday season can be a festive time, but it can also be stressful. It’s also a time for viruses to spread. To help, we compiled some important tips on how to stay healthy and safe this season. 

The holidays combined with shorter, darker days can be a sad time for some people. You are not alone if you feel unhappy around this time of year. 

  • Pay attention to your feelings. Recognizing your feelings is the first step to addressing and nurturing them.
  • Remember to take time to care for yourself. Try to get enough sleep, exercise, get outdoors when it’s light outside, and stay social and connected.
  • It’s not weak to reach out for support.
    • The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line is a 24/7 clinical hotline staffed by trained behavioral health providers and peer coaches. It’s a free and confidential resource that can connect you with effective treatment and support. Call or Text: 833-773-2445. Web Chat:
    • The 988 Lifeline Chat and Text is a service of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, connecting individuals with crisis counselors for emotional support and other services. Call or text 988. You can also chat online at or (Spanish).

Cook and bake safely. 

  • Cooking this season? Remember to wash your hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook at the right temperature, and refrigerate food promptly.
  • Roasting meat? Here’s an in-depth guide from the U.S. Department of Agriculture complete with minimum internal temperature and rest times.
  • Making holiday cookies? Remember to not eat raw, packaged cookie dough. Be sure to follow the packaged directions to ensure you properly bake and kill off any bacteria that would make someone sick. 

Practice good hygiene. 

Get vaccinated.

  • Many viruses spread more during the holiday season, so it is important to get all recommended vaccines, including flu, COVID-19 and RSV, as soon as possible. This will give you the best protection against these respiratory diseases. These vaccines will also make your illness less severe if you do get sick. Learn more at the CDC website

Take a COVID-19 at-home test. 

  • If you plan on visiting loved ones who are immunocompromised, take a test before you visit to know if you have COVID-19.
  • Need tests? You can get free ones through the federal government. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order an additional four at-home tests beginning November 20. If you did not order tests earlier this fall, you may place two orders for a total of eight tests. To order, go to
  • You can also find free COVID-19 rapid tests in the health department’s lobby at 119 Windsor Street and at all Cambridge Public Library branches.

And importantly, stay home if you feel sick! Whether you have COVID-19, the flu, or even the common cold, you can help protect your community from the spread of illness this season by taking common-sense measures.