With coronavirus infections spiking across the country, there’s no doubt the holidays will look different this year. Of course, the safest way to celebrate is by staying home and celebrating with your household members or celebrating virtually.
If you plan to attend or host a large gathering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidelines to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.
If possible, anyone attending should isolate for 14 days before gathering. Travel should be avoided, but if you plan on traveling, make sure to wear a mask in public, remain six feet apart from those who are not in your immediate household, and wash your hands.
Of course, while gathering, social distancing and wearing masks are a given, as is handwashing and using hand sanitizer. Try to limit contact between guests by not hugging or shaking hands when greeting visitors.
Outdoor gatherings are less risky than indoor, but if you have to spend the holidays indoors, try to keep the space ventilated as much as possible. Weather permitting, open windows and doors to allow air flow or keep on central and air and heating to keep the air circulating.
Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting. Keep music levels to a minimum so that people don’t have to speak loudly or shout to be heard.
Visitors should be encouraged to bring their own food and drinks; avoid potluck or buffet-style dining. The CDC also recommends having one person serve food so that multiple people are not touching serving utensils.
Immediately following the event, wash all linens and dishes.
Some ideas for lower-risk activities include dropping a meal off to family members or neighbors who may not be able to care for themselves, hosting a virtual dinner, limiting dinner to only the members of your immediate household, shopping online instead of in-person, and watching sporting events, parades, and movies at home.