'Tis the season for holiday planning. Yet, gatherings of families and friends, crowded parties and travel may put Americans at an increased risk for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you carefully consider the spread risk of in-person holiday celebrations.
Several factors contribute to COVID-19 spreading in group settings. Those include community spread of the coronavirus, event location, event duration, quantity of attendees and the locations where attendees are coming from. It’s also important to consider attendees’ behavior both prior to the gathering and during the celebration.
Before a Gathering
If you choose to attend an in-person event, consider the following tips prior to the gathering:
Check whether the host has steps in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Bring along supplies like extra masks, tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid contact with people outside of your household for 14 days before the gathering.
Also, it’s important to stay home if you do not feel well or are at a higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
During a Gathering
Consider the following tips from the CDC to reduce your risk of being exposed to, contracting or spreading COVID-19 during an in-person event:
Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with—and be mindful in areas where it may be harder to do so, such as restrooms and eating areas.
Wear a mask at all times when around people who don’t live in your household.
Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
If you want to celebrate the holidays as safely as possible this year, consider celebrating virtually or with members of your own household.