In an open letter to the American people, the AHA, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association today called on the public to scale back traditional gatherings this holiday season to celebrate safely and help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“We are all weary and empathize with the desire to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but given the serious risks, we underscore how important it is to wear masks, maintain physical distancing and wash your hands,” the letter states. “Following these science-based, commonsense measures is the best way to prevent our health care systems and dedicated health care professionals from being overwhelmed by critically ill patients. We must protect the doctors, nurses and other caregivers who have tirelessly battled this virus for months. You can do your part to ensure they can continue to care for you and your loved ones.”

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