Traditional Thanksgiving 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. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, follow these tips provided by the CDC to make your celebration safer.
Everyone Can Make Thanksgiving Safer
- Wear a mask.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
- Wash your hands.
Attending a Gathering
- Consider quarantining for the 2 weeks leading up to any gathering and the same after the gatherings, to be absolutely sure.
- 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 in the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
Hosting a Gathering
- 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.
- When handling food directly (plating biscuits, carving turkey, serving pie), wear gloves.
- Have guests bring their own food and drink.
- To minimize exposure to high-touch items like serving spoons, have one person serve food onto plates rather than passing dishes.
- Start shopping for paper towels and toilet paper NOW.
If you do travel:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- 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.
- Shop for road snacks ahead of time and plan your route to minimize stops at highly-trafficked areas like convenience stores.
Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities
- Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
- Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
- Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.
- Watch television and play games with people in your household
- Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
- Find a fun game to play.
- Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
- Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
- Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others.
- Other activities
- Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
- Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
Enjoy Your Family and Friends
However your family chooses to celebrate Thanksgiving, be respectful of their choices and thoughtful of their health. Taking responsible precautions can ensure that everyone stays well to celebrate Christmas and the New Year!