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Gifford CMO: Enjoy the holidays with your family

Nov 22 2022, 3:17 PM


CONTACT: Scott Fleishman, Gifford Health Care,

RANDOLPH, Vt., November 22, 2022- In his latest blog, Gifford Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Josh White has a message for people still fearful about Covid heading into the holiday season, the situation has changed and your thinking should change.

“When the pandemic started, we talked about how to avoid the virus and not get sick by practicing social distancing and masking,” Dr. White said. “In this day and age, that's not going to happen.”

By some estimates, the Omicron virus is the most infectious agent known to science, more so than measles. That means you are likely going to be exposed to and probably get Covid at some point.

“The most significant difference from previous conversations about Covid is that there are several incredibly effective vaccines and treatments,” Dr. White said. “If you do get Covid and it's a worrisome situation because you're older or have health care risks, there are things we can do about it.”

According to the CDC, for people who have had the vaccine and boosters, the Covid mortality is about 0.1 per 100,000 people every week. To put this into context, Vermont auto fatalities in the year 2020, were about 0.18 deaths per 100,000 Vermonters every week.

“So, if you get in a car today, you should be about twice as concerned as you should for Covid if you've been boosted,” Dr. White said. “If you want to live in an environment where you're at lower risk, you have the opportunity to get vaccinated and get the boosters.”

In the early stages of the pandemic, Dr. White didn't know how much risk there was for his family and didn't know how he was going to be able to take care of his patients.

“I contributed to putting fear into people's hearts, because I was worried too. Fortunately, we don’t live there anymore,” Dr. White said.“I encourage you to go see your family or have your family come to see you. Do the things that you used to do for the holidays. Those kinds of things are really important, particularly with the angst and stress in this post-Covid world that we all now live in.”

To read Dr. White's Blog, visit


Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, Rochester, and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; an adult day program; 49-unit independent living facility, and nursing home. Its mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.


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