Can you catch COVID from a Christmas Tree

With Christmas trees causing COVID outbreaks is your family at risk?


Veronica Garcia, Staff Member


The concept sounds crazy, but it has technically happened before. In fact, this applies to any airborne disease. The title of this article could have been, “Can you catch a common cold from a Christmas Treeor Can you catch the flu from a Christmas Tree

The first report: “California hospital fined over Covid outbreak traced to inflatable Christmas costume”. This case involved a Christmas party in early January 2021 at San Jose Medical Center, owned by Kaiser Permanente. One of the attendees of this party, who is unspecified, arrived in an inflatable Christmas tree costume.

Shortly thereafter, the hospital saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, and even one death. While there was not any concrete evidence that the individual who wore the costume was responsible for the numerous infections, it was confirmed that they later tested positive for COVID-19.

Another article titled, “An outbreak has killed one, infected 43 at California hospital. An inflatable holiday costume is likely to blame, officials say “the woman was among the staffers who worked in the emergency department on Christmas Day and later tested positive” (Peiser, 2021). Granted, it was not a real Christmas tree that caused this mass of infections, but a costume, in technical terms, could be argued as a Christmas tree. After all, they are meant to spread Christmas cheer, which was exactly what the worker had aimed to achieve. There is another case involving an actual Christmas tree, however. But this time, in reverse.

The second report: “Health workers make Christmas Tree with empty COVID-19 vials; video goes viral”. This was a more recent story, having been published on December 11, 2021. In this case, healthcare workers constructed a Christmas tree using empty vials of the COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. They made this tree with the intention to raise awareness of vaccinations, and it quickly gained traction. It was especially popular on Twitter, where the original post was made. This kind of tree is definitely not a typical sight to see, but it is a Christmas tree all the same. So while you may not get COVID-19 from an actual Christmas tree, you could theoretically get a vaccination. That is assuming the vials would have been full instead.

With a few bent rules, it is in fact possible to get COVID-19 from a Christmas tree, or even a vaccination. But it is unlikely to occur, so those who are decorating their Christmas trees probably have little reason to worry. The only thing they might want to avoid is inflatable costumes at Christmas parties.