‘Tis the season for large gatherings with family and friends. This year, of course, things will look a little different. Many people are thinking of ways to safely gather with their loved ones after being separated for months. The good news is, if you and your family take the right precautions and follow CDC guidelines, you can gather safely this season!
In this article, we will do our best to offer some ways to safely gather this holiday season. Please note, these are just our suggestions based on CDC guidelines. In order to be careful, make sure to check your state’s specific guidelines before making any plans.
Setting Ground Rules
The desire to see loved ones is strong. Isolation has taken a toll on people’s mental health, which is why finding safe ways to gather is worth a try. Before you suggest a get together, establish some ground rules. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Some guidelines for safe gathering:
- Get tested a few days before the event and continue to isolate as much as possible after getting tested to ensure results are still valid.
- Practice physical social distance during the get together. Nominate the relative with the biggest, most spacious house to host your gathering.
- Limit the guest list to the number of people allowed by your state COVID-19 regulations.
- Wear masks when you are not eating.
- Take it outside if the weather permits. If not, make sure you offer ventilation.
Traveling can increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. It is best if you can avoid travel altogether. If you must travel across state lines to be with family, consider a road trip and avoid public transportation.
Here’s a travel check-list:
- Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases in your area and the area you will be traveling to.
- Educate yourself on the state and local requirements before you travel.
- Get tested before making the trip.
- If you are traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator, consider these travel tips.
What’s for Dinner
The best part of holiday gatherings is the food, of course! However, this year, it is also the main source of risk. Everyone will have their masks off and most likely be sitting closer together.
A few ways to make the dinner portion less of a risk:
- Have individual servings. Family style serving might be more of a risk since everyone will be digging in.
- Arrange a few tables to give yourselves more space. Have groups that traveled together, eat together.
- Have guests bring food/drinks for the people of their household or support a local restaurant and order takeout, in individual servings.
The most important part will be that everyone is together, even if further apart. Find out what works best for you and your family this year. If you are someone who is at high risk of having complications from contracting COVID-19, consider avoiding any type of gathering altogether and opt for a virtual family visit.
However you decide to celebrate the holidays this year, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!