Thanksgiving can carry on this year, despite a surge in COVID-19 infections, but for celebrations to be safe, Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control have some suggestions.
For starters, the CDC would prefer if everyone stayed home this Thanksgiving and had virtual feasts via Zoom with friends and family.
But recognizing many people are going to see their loved ones on Thanksgiving, the CDC offered advice.
In a new public information blast, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reminded Bay State residents that:
- No more than 10 people can attend a private indoor party,
- No more than 25 people can attend a private outdoor party,
- Face coverings are required to be worn when people who live outside of the household are present and there are more than 10 people present,
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet (about two arm lengths) should be observed between people except for those from the same household,
- All gatherings must end and attendees dispersed by 9:30 p.m.
The CDC recommends that if people are going to party, the best way to mitigate risk will be to:
- Forgo potlucks and have people bring food for their immediate families only,
- Limit people’s contact with food while it’s being cooked (no hanging out in the kitchen),
- Have one person in a mask serve all the food, so there is no sharing of utensils or condiments like salad dressing, salt, and pepper,
- If possible, offer no-touch trash cans,
- Provide many handwashing opportunities with disposable towels,
- Have hand sanitizer out everywhere,
- No buffets or drink stations,
- Store masks in a sandwich bag or some other sealed container while eating and drinking,
- Use single-use items as often as possible, such as disposable silverware,
- Have the event outside or inside with open windows and good ventilation,
- Limit the time of the party - the longer it is the higher the risk,
- Make handwashing a regular part of events.
There are some people who absolutely should not attend holiday functions because the risk of catching COVID-19 is too high, the CDC said. These people are those diagnosed with COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, are waiting to hear back about COVID-19 test results, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or is at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
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