How to Holiday: A Guide to Navigating COVID-19 During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving pie

This story originally appeared on the Health Center at Hudson Yards.

The holidays are going to look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the holiday season, it is important that you, your family, and your friends adhere to COVID-19 mitigation efforts to keep everyone safe this year. While it may be a difficult decision to make, staying home and limiting travel and gatherings could be the best way to protect yourself and others. Taking these extra precautions cannot guarantee safety, but they may help mitigate the risk of transmission.

We recommend adhering to the following safety tips, if:

Attending gatherings

 

∙ Wear a mask around people who are not part of your household. Latest CDC guidance suggests that masks can protect wearers and not just others. We recommend wearing either surgical masks or two or three-layer cloth masks

∙ Wash hands before preparing, serving, and eating food

∙ Limit the number of guests and duration of the gathering. Check local or state guidance on gathering limitations. New York, for example, has limited private indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people

∙ Consider encouraging guests to bring their own food or drinks for members of their household instead of potluck-style gatherings.

∙ One person could serve all food, while wearing a mask, so multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.

∙ Maintain social distance, 6 feet or more, from people whom you do not live with.

∙ Hold gatherings outdoors, if possible, and avoid indoor spaces with poor ventilation. If gatherings are held indoors, you can take the following steps to improve ventilation:

∙ Open windows, screened doors, and internal doors where possible.
∙ Open windows (or doors) at opposite sides of a home to improve cross-ventilation.
∙ Operate a whole-house fan, or an evaporative cooler, if your home has one.
∙ Use a portable air cleaner or air purifier if you have one.

Traveling

 

∙ Wear a mask in public settings, including trains, planes, and buses. We recommend wearing either surgical masks or two or three-layer cloth masks.

∙ Wash hands before preparing, serving, and eating food.

∙ Maintain social distance when traveling.

∙ Maintain good hand hygiene, washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with >60% alcohol content if you cannot wash your hands.

∙ Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

∙ Drive to your destination, if possible.

∙ Travel at off peak times on trains, planes, and buses.

We recommend reviewing case counts in your home area and where you are traveling. If they are high, you should consider cancelling or rescheduling your gathering or trip.

For additional information, we recommend reviewing CDC’s resources on Celebrating Thanksgiving and Holiday Celebrations.