The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many holidays this year, including the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Traditional gatherings with family and friends are fun, but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.
The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, follow these steps from the CDC to make your celebration safer.
Wear a mask
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19 or flu.
- Keeping 6 feet, about two arm lengths, from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Wash your hands
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
To make the holiday safer for everyone, here are some tips to follow if you’re attending a Thanksgiving gathering.
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils.
- Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates and utensils.
If you’re planning on hosting a Thanksgiving gathering, encourage guests to follow these steps so everyone can help make the holiday safer.
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
- Have guests bring their own food and drink.
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
For more information about COVID-19 and the holidays, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html .