ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Area health experts say Virginia is among the states seeing the highest levels of influenza-like illness.

They’re warning people ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday to remain cautious when going into closed spaces especially as we approach the busiest time of the year for traveling and gathering.

While restrictions might be loosened, doctors say you might want to go ahead and bring that mask back out, not just for COVID-19, but also for the Flu and RSV.

Christie Wills with the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts recommends wearing your mask in closed spaces, like at events or on public transportation, and staying home if you’re sick.

She told WFXR, “If you have a fever of a hundred degrees or more, stay home until at least 24 hours after the fever is gone and if you do have the flu or covid you should stay home longer, at least 4 or five days from the beginning of your symptoms.”

She says to practice what she calls good “Respiratory Etiquette”: Sneeze or cough into your elbow, throw away tissues, wash your hands regularly with soap, avoid touching your face, and make sure surfaces are clean.

“What we think happens is that when people sneeze or cough, these viruses can be persistent. So you can touch a surface, get the germs or bugs on your hand and they can enter in through your eyes, your nose, or your mouth,” said Wills.

The Virginia Department of Health recommends getting your flu shot and getting vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Wills says you can get protection from both viruses in the same visit, and it’s not too late.

She says while it does take two weeks for the full benefits of the vaccines to kick in they can still help protect you before then.

Wills added, “One way to think about it is going ahead and making an appointment for a vaccine is cheaper and more convenient than getting sick. Catching a respiratory bug can cost you time away from work, medical bills, missed events, and days of misery.”

In addition to getting vaccinated, she also recommends testing yourself for COVID-19 before you gather, making sure you’re not a threat to the health of your family or those around you.