Keep Your Thanksgiving Gatherings Happy and Healthy This Year with These Tips
These tips from the CDC can help you determine the best way to protect yourself and your family if you decide to partake in a family gathering this Thanksgiving:
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here! Unfortunately, a resurgence of Covid-19 is also arriving which means it’s important to take precautions when you think about reconnecting with family and friends over the holidays. These tips from the CDC can help you determine the best way to protect yourself and your family if you decide to partake in a family gathering this Thanksgiving:
- Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread.
- People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households.
- Organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size (number of attendees and other factors) and take steps to reduce the possibility of infection.
- Remember that community levels of COVID-19 in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- The number of COVID-19 cases in your community and in the community where you plan to celebrate should be considered when deciding whether to host or attend a gathering. Information on the number of cases in an area can often be found on the local health department website.
- Travel may be dangerous. Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
- Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.
- Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
- The behavior of attendees prior to the gathering is also a consideration when it comes to safety. Individuals who did not consistently adhere to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, handwashing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than those who consistently practiced these safety measures.
- Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented. Use of alcohol or drugs may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
While we all want to celebrate with family and friends, it is prudent to remember that the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening, and small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Be sure to check your local government website, too, to make sure you know what the current Covid-19 case load is and if there are any additional considerations you should have in mind when planning your Thanksgiving this year.