With the pandemic still affecting most of the country, it’s time to face the fact that this Thanksgiving is going to look very different than in years past. The biggest question on our minds isn’t over what type of stuffing to serve, but rather, should we be gathering at all and how to do so safely. Here are a few tips for a safer Thanksgiving during Covid.
Stay safer at home
Traveling out of state for Thanksgiving is something we normally don’t question. Unfortunately this year, it may be safer to stay at home with your immediate household than to travel.
Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.1
A safe alternative to out-of-state gatherings is to make a video or phone call with loved ones before, during or after dinner.
Keep the guest list small
Coming together and sharing a meal with a houseful of relatives could put many people at risk for spreading the virus. Consider who you will be inviting. Are they elderly with health concerns? Will your child be coming home from college with the potential that he or she was exposed to someone infected?
Be sure your guests know to cancel if someone becomes ill. Suggest that everyone get tested for the virus a few days prior to the holiday. Especially if grandparents or people at high-risk will be attending. As you greet your guests at the door, do a simple temperature check.
Outside or indoors
Depending on what part of the country you are living, eating your holiday meal outside might be a safer option. According to the CDC, outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities.
If hosting an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to host an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces. Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.1
Use an indoor air purifier with a HEPA filter to help remove harmful airborne contaminants.
If serving any food, no matter if you are indoors or outside, consider having one person serve so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
Whatever your plans for Thanksgiving, let’s focus on the meaning of this holiday season by finding things to be grateful for. Reach out to family and friends to let them know you love them. Follow these tips for a safer Thanksgiving during Covid. And remember, even though we are 6 feet or more apart, together we will get through this.