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(Omar Gomez)

South Austin resident Omar Gomez has been trying to find a vaccine appointment for his 93-year-old grandmother, who lives with his aunt.

South Austin resident Omar Gomez has spent the last week driving around town and refreshing the H-E-B website, looking for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for his 93-year-old grandmother, who lives with his aunt.

"When we went in person, there wasn't any available," Gomez told Austonia.

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(Pexels)

As Austin public health officials warn of the "Thanksgiving effect"—evidenced by a rising COVID-19 caseload and increasing hospitalizations connected to holiday gatherings—many residents want to know how they can minimize their risk of exposure in the coming weeks.

Austonia spoke to Dr. Stanley Spinner, vice president and chief medical officer at Texas Children's Pediatrics and Texas Children's Urgent Care, about how to navigate this holiday season safely.

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(Pexels)

First there was the twindemic. Now there is another potential overlap of illnesses facing Austinites, as cedar fever season nears its peak and the local COVID-19 caseload continues its upward climb.

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(Pexels)

Austin Public Health issued post-Thanksgiving guidelines on Friday, recommending that residents avoid higher-risk activities such as attending crowded, indoor gatherings; going on hayrides with people outside of one's household; traditional caroling and other door-to-door activities; and traveling for events.

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