LUBBOCK Texas- As the holiday season continues and people plan to gather, the Lubbock Health Department is recommending people take precautionary steps to protect themselves and others.

“They’ve identified multiple cases in lots of areas of Texas and the testing that tells [us],” said Katherine Wells, director of the Lubbock Health Department. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we haven it here in Lubbock. We just haven’t gotten the test results yet confirming that.”

Wells said with people wanting to get together during the holidays, getting vaccinated will help protect and prevent spread of COVID-19.

“Most of us who received our vaccines January through March, we should really be out there getting a booster,” said Wells. “Everybody 18 and older especially with the announcement of this new variant, it’s very important we get the booster so we are up-to-date.”

Ray Covarrubio, a public health nurse at the Lubbock Health Department, said they are prepared to vaccinate people the week of Christmas for COVID-19. However, he said he suggests people get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“The thing is to realize it takes about seven to ten days on the average to the for the body to start building antibodies,” said Covarrubio. “We want to encourage folks to get it as soon as possible, preferably a week or two before they start visiting with families so the vaccine has time to to build up antigens in their body and help protect them and to protect the ones they love.”

Wells said the flu is also on the rise and that people can get both vaccinations at their mini vaccine clinic located at on 50th at the Caprock Center.

Wells said the clinic will be open Saturday, December 18th, from 10am to 2pm. The clinic will also be open on Wednesday, December 22nd, and Thursday, December 23rd, from 10am to 3pm