Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Eva Chalas, MD, FACOG, FACS, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of ACOG:
“As the holiday season approaches, America’s obstetrician-gynecologists urge our patients to continue to adhere to preventive measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:
- wearing a mask and other recommended PPE, if applicable, at work, in public, or in any scenario in which there is contact with anyone from outside their home unit
- washing hands frequently
- maintaining physical distancing (at least 6 feet), and
- limiting contact with individuals outside of the home unit as much as practicable.
“Because pregnant patients are at increased risk of more severe illness associated with COVID-19, it is especially important that they take all possible precautions to prevent infection. This virus is highly contagious and holiday gatherings pose varying levels of risk depending on the location, number of attendees, and community spread. Virtual gatherings and holiday celebrations pose the lowest level of risk. If you are planning to attend an in-person event with individuals outside of your household, it is very important to continue following preventive measures, including wearing a mask and physical distancing, regardless of how close you may be with those individuals.
“Although testing is an essential tool in our ongoing battle against the pandemic, it is important that patients do not interpret negative test results as permission to forego recommended precautions, as doing so could result in infection for themselves and their loved ones. A negative test result is not a guarantee that a person is not infected with the COVID-19, and foregoing social distancing recommendations increases the potential for exposure and infection.
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that travel at any point during the pandemic increases the chance that an individual will become infected by and/or spread COVID-19. In order to protect themselves and others, we advise patients to follow CDC's recommendations and stay home."
“We understand that, having endured more than seven months of this public health crisis, many of us are eager to be with our loved ones once again. However, for the well-being of our friends, families, neighbors, and communities, we encourage our patients to remain diligent and continue to take precautions that are recommended to save lives.”
For more information, please visit ACOG’s resource on COVID-19 and Pregnancy: 3 Steps to Stay Safe.
To learn more about the increased risk of more severe illness, please visit ACOG’s Practice Advisory on Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
Learn more about travel recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.