Here are some tips to stay healthy during the flu season, while also avoiding COVID-19, from Dr. Gale Burstein, the Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Health.

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With COVID-19 still a real threat and flu season quickly approaching, it's important that we take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our families. I spoke to Dr. Gale Burstein about best practices to stay safe. Her first recommendation is that anyone aged 6 months or older get a flu vaccine. She drives home the point that you can be infected with both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. There is a possibility that you or your loved one could become very ill.

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Dr. Burstein recommends that the following people should get a flu vaccine:

- Young children (6 months to 5 years-old)
- People over the age of 50
- Anyone with chronic disease (heart conditions, diabetes, etc.)
- Immuno-compromised people
- Women who are or plan to become pregnant
- Seniors living in long-term care facilities
- Obese people
- Caretakers of any of the people above

Here are the best practices to help keep yourself and your family safe from the flu and COVID-19:

- Get a flu vaccine
- Wear a mask whenever you are near other people
- Avoid large gatherings
- Gather outside, rather than indoors
- Physical distance from other people (six feet or more)
- Wash your hands
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Here's where you can get more information:

Erie County Department of Health website
VaccineFinder.org
Centers for Disease Control flu/COVID-19 webpage

ECDOH COVID-19 Information Line: 716-858-2929
NYSDOH COVID-19 Information Line: 1-888-364-3065

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