CDC provides Thanksgiving tips and alternatives

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that while traditional gathering with family and friends are fun, they can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19, the flu, or other illnesses. Individuals are encouraged to follow these tips to make the Thanksgiving holiday safer. 

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people inside your household. However, if you do plan to spend the holiday with people outside of your household, take steps to ensure you and your family are as being as safe as possible. 

Steps everyone can take to have a safe Thanksgiving celebration:

  • Wear a Mask
    • with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19
    • over your nose and mouth, secured under your chin
    • and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face 
  • Stay at least six feet away from non-household members
    • remember that some people without symptoms can spread COVID-19 or the flu
    • Keeping six feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick
  • Wash your hands
    • Wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Keep hand sanitizer (of at least 60 percent alcohol) nearby and use when you’re unable to wash your hands

Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering: 

If you’re having guests at your home, here are some additional steps you can take to keep your family safe: 

  • Have a small, outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community 
  • Limit the number of guests 
  • Set expectations with guess ahead of times 
  • 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 rink 
  • If sharing food, have one person serve and utilize single-use options, like plastic utensils

Attending a Gathering: 

If you plan to attend a gathering outside your household, here are some steps you can take: 

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils
  • Wear a mask, and safely store it while eating and drinking
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food in being prepared or handled 
  • Use singe-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils. 

Thanksgiving Travel: 

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. However, if you do travel: 

  • Check travel restrictions before you go
  • Get your flu shot before traveling 
  • Always wear a mask in public settings/on public transportation 
  • Stay six feet away from non-household members
  • Wash hands often/use hand sanitizer 
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth 
  • Bring extra safety and sanitation supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer 

In addition to providing some tips for in person celebrations, the CDC also provided some safer alternatives. 

  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you 
  • Remotely share recipes and pictures of your dishes with friends and family
  • Watch television and play games with people in your household
  • Shop online sales and use contactless delivery services 
  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others
  • Participate in a gratitude activity like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing them with your friends and family

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