A Safer Thanksgiving in 2020
Thanksgiving traditions often include gathering around the table with family and friends. Unfortunately, gathering is a risky activity right now, because it increases the chance you could catch or spread COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control, small household gatherings are contributing to a rise in COVID-19 cases across the U.S.
Many of us are weary of isolation and we long to see the special people in our lives this holiday season. But in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, the safest way to observe Thanksgiving this year is with the people who live in your household full-time. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.
Safer Thanksgiving Plans
Here are some ideas for a safer Thanksgiving holiday:
- Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you. Invite people to share their favorite recipes and show off the dishes they prepared.
- Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
- Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others, like leaving the dishes on the porch.
- Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
Staying home with the people who live in your household is safest. But if you do plan to gather this holiday, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Talk with your guests/hosts ahead of time to set expectations, and consider these modifications:
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19. Be sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face, and wear it over your nose and mouth.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, especially before you eat.
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils if you’re visiting another home.
- Have the meal outdoors if possible, with a limited number of guests. If you must be indoors, open the windows to increase ventilation.
When you travel, you increase your chance of getting sick or spreading COVID-19. The safest option is to stay home. But if you do plan to travel:
- Check travel restrictions before you go. Some places require visitors to quarantine upon arrival.
- Get your flu shot before you travel. The flu shot won’t protect you from COVID-19, but can lower your risk of having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
- Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.