The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has come out with recommendations on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving in 2020. Similar to their Halloween guidelines, the CDC ranked typical holiday traditions according to their risk of COVID-19 infection.
Who Not to Invite to Thanksgiving
According to the CDC guidelines, people should not attend any in-person celebrations if they:
- Have an active case of COVID-19.
- Have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
- Show symptoms of COVID-19.
- Are waiting for test results.
- Have an increased risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19.
- Live or work with someone who is considered high-risk.
“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the CDC website states. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.”
The CDC encourages everyone celebrating to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines — whether it be doing a low-risk or high-risk activity. Whenever possible, maintain a distance of at least six feet and hold back from gestures that enable close contact, including hugs.
While the CDC points out there is no evidence to suggest that handling and eating food is associated directly with infection, the CDC offered multiple methods of minimizing the risk of infection during shared meals.
- Avoid potluck-style gatherings. Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and members of their own household only.
- Limit people going in and out of areas where food is being prepared or handled.
- Wash hands and wear a mask when preparing and serving food for members outside of your household.
- Use single-use options or assign one person to serve sharable items (dressing, plates, utensils, and condiments).
- Consider one person to serve all the food to avoid multiple people touching serving utensils.
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household.
- Preparing food for family and neighbors and offering to deliver them through a contactless method.
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with attendees.
- Shopping online rather than in-person for Black Friday.
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community.
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where COVID-19 guidelines are enforced (social distancing, face coverings, and hand sanitizer).
- Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place.
The CDC encourages people to avoid the following higher risk activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Going shopping in-person for Black Friday.
- Attending crowded parades or sporting events.
- Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.