Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

November 18, 2022
Contact: Beth Cefalu, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to follow these tips for a healthier holiday season:

  • Get your COVID-19 booster: Keep yourself and your family members safe. If you haven't already gotten your COVID-19 booster, get one today! To make an appointment at the RCDOH, visit For vaccine providers in your area, visit Vaccination remains the most effective measure to prevent severe consequences, including hospitalization and death.
  • Get your flu shot: Getting the flu vaccine is the main way to prevent the flu and its complications. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Flu season usually peaks in January or February and can last until May. Getting your flu shot offers protection through the holidays and the rest of the flu season. The flu vaccine may be taken at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. To make a flu vaccine appointment visit or contact your doctor or local pharmacy.
  • Wash your hands often; Stay home if you are sick: Washing your hands often can help prevent sickness and the spread of germs. In addition, to help prevent the spread of germs, continue following the CDC's public health prevention measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Get moving: Prioritize physical activity. Take a 10 to 15-minute walk to keep active and help to reduce holiday stress. Keep a fleece jacket and comfortable walking shoes in your car or at work; this will let you be spontaneous and fit a walk into your day. Ask your co-workers, family, and friends to join you on a walk.
  • The holiday season can be hectic – have regular meals: Everyday eat breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. Children and adults need balanced meals during the day, even when you're on the go.
  • Drink water; it's the best thirst quencher: Have a pitcher of water/water bottle readily available to help avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and sodas that can pack on empty calories.
  • Cut down on sweets: Keep healthier options such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds on-hand as your go-to snacks rather than high-fat, sugary foods such as chips, cookies, or candy. Buy sliced, ready-to-eat fresh fruit and vegetables (or prepare them yourself). Keep healthy foods where you can see them in the refrigerator and pantry.
  • Bake healthier: Replace ¼ cup of butter, oil, or margarine in your favorite cookie and muffin recipes with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or fig puree.
  • Get enough sleep: Loss of sleep is linked to several chronic diseases and conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to motor vehicle crashes and other injuries. The recommended sleep time for adults is a minimum of seven hours. Sleep is not a waste of time or a luxury; your health depends on it.
  • Eating out? Check the menu ahead of time: Before you get to the restaurant, look at the menu to know what healthier choices are available.
  • Thinking about skipping a meal to splurge at the party? Think again: It may make you overeat or choose high-calorie foods. Instead, plan to have a high-protein snack before the party - try a handful of sunflower seeds or pistachios with a cup of low-fat yogurt.
  • BYOD - Bring Your Own Dish to the party: Bringing a healthier choice will ensure there is at least one dish that you won't have to resist!
  • Check the CDC's Food Safety Tips for the Holidays: - 'tis the season to be jolly...and free of foodborne illness!

"Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority! As you gather with friends and family, remember that COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses continue to pose a threat to many. There are many ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. By getting vaccinated and using proven prevention strategies, we can all enjoy safer holidays, travel, and protect our own health as well as the health of our family and friends," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information on safer ways to celebrate the holidays, visit the CDC'S website, How to Protect Yourself and Others. For more information on healthy eating, visit and for the Holiday Healthy Eating Guide from the American Heart Association.