The holiday season is coming to an end, with only a few days left until the beginning of 2021. But it will be several weeks before we’ll be able to determine whether or not the holidays will cause COVID spikes across the city and the entire country. Doctor Dara Kass, an ER doctor at Columbia University Medical Center, and a Yahoo News medical contributor, joined Errol Louis on Inside City Hall to discuss how New Yorkers can end the holiday season on a healthy note.

Because many families will be gathering for the New Year‘s holiday and studies show that transmission is most likely to happen in private homes, Dr. Kass says it’s important to remain cautious as we close out the year.

“We want to see our family and our loved ones, especially around the holiday season, but we really need to put up those guardrails to say that somebody we love can give us this virus and once it gets into our family it can spread,” she said.

Dr. Kass also said that a negative COVID test does not mean an individual is in the clear.

“I think what it comes down to is that even with a negative test before gathering, it’s not a guarantee.”

When asked about the logic of avoiding spread, by limiting oneself to get-togethers with the same family and friends, Dr. Kass said this behavior is risky.

“Once you extend past your own pod it’s all those other interactions that you’re bringing into your family and more importantly it’s that time frame from exposure to the time that you know you’re positive, that you infect more people you see.”

On the topic of the COVID-19 vaccine and whether or not the distribution will be equitable, Dr. Kass stressed the importance of a strong federal leadership and support.

“We see here in New York that our governor has laid out a very clear plan for distribution and he’s going to need those resources to get the vaccines into the arms of New Yorkers in an equitable and available way,” she said.

“I’m hopeful with a Biden administration he’ll get those resources.”