With the holidays upon us we are all looking forward to celebrating with our loved ones. However, with COVID-19 cases on the rise around the country, it may be best to put a pin in your normal holiday travel plans. In fact, it is recommended that you only celebrate with those living in your household who have been practicing social distancing and consistently wearing masks. (This can include roommates and others who are not related to you, if you live in the same space.)
Keep the following in mind if you decide to travel:
- Check the level of COVID cases in your community and in the communities that other guests are travelling from. You can usually find this information on local health department websites.
- There is a high risk of exposure during travel when using airports, train stations, bus stations, gas stations, and rest stops.
Here are some options provided by the CDC on how you can celebrate safely:
- Video call family members who are not living in your household instead of getting together
- Avoid gathering with older family members, since they are more vulnerable
- If you do have a gathering, keep it small
- Have your Thanksgiving dinner outside for better ventilation
- Wear a face covering whenever you are not eating or drinking
- Place different households at different tables 6 feet apart
- Keep the duration of the gathering short
- Keep an eye on the behavior of the attendees during the gathering and practice safety measures such as face masks, social distancing and handwashing
- Drugs and alcohol may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice safety measures
- Do not shake hands or hug those that are not living in your household
- Keep music levels low so guests can speak at a normal volume to prevent shouting
Handling Food and Drink at small holiday gatherings:
- Best practice would be for each guest to bring their own food and drink
- Wear a mask if you are preparing or serving food to those who do not live in your household
- Have a single person wear gloves to serve the food so multiple people do not touch the utensils
- Use single-use options for utensils, plates, etc. to limit touching multiple surfaces
- Use touchless trash cans to reduce touching surfaces
Although it’s inconvenient, taking the proper precautions now to reduce the spread of the virus and keep loved ones safe can help ensure every community will be able to celebrate the holidays for years to come.
This information was collected from the CDC’s website for Holiday Celebrations during COVID-19. We hope it helps you have a happy and SAFE Thanksgiving.