As we plan for the Thanksgiving holiday, the following considerations are offered to help keep our friends, families, and community safe during COVID-19. If you host a holiday celebration, keep it small. If you are considering travel, be aware of Massachusetts travel orders. If you participate in a celebration, follow public health guidance.
Lower Risk Celebrations
· Limit in-person holiday gatherings to only people you live with or limit to a small group of individuals with whom you are regularly in contact.
· Keep visits short – gatherings that last longer pose more risk than short gatherings.
· Host a virtual holiday dinner with extended family or friends, especially if they are at higher risk for illness from COVID-19.
· Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
Higher Risk Celebrations
If you plan to celebrate the holidays in person with people you don’t live with:
- Wear your mask when not eating or drinking and watch your distance at all times.
- Do not share food, drink, or any utensils.
- Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
- Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings.
- Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, potluck dishes, or drink stations.
- Minimize contact with other people for 14 days before and after holiday gatherings, or obtain a negative result from a molecular (PCR) test within 72 hours of the celebration.
- Arrange small seating tables in multiple rooms with plenty of spacing, instead of a large family table.
- Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.
- Take extra precautions for those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions
Avoid these activities:
- Sharing food and drinks.
- Shaking hands and hugging. Wave and verbally greet others instead.
- Singing, dancing, and shouting (increase your chances of catching COVID-19 through the air).
- Shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving.
DO NOT host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household:
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is awaiting COVID-19 test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with medical conditions