Fall & Winter Holidays



Fall & Winter Holidays

With the holidays around the corner, we are reminded of the desire to celebrate and gather with our families. For the safety of you and your family, celebrations will look different this year. Staying home and not gathering outside your immediate household is the best way to protect yourself and others. Below are a few recommendations based on the risk level.

Anytime you are near people you do not live with:
• Wear a mask when not eating or drinking.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Stay six feet apart from others.
• Consider if those around you may be higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions and take extra precautions.

Healthy Alternative Activities
• Staying at home and enjoying a homemade meal.
• Cooking a traditional family meal or trying a new recipe with those who live in your household.
• Taking a walk, run, or hike outdoors while practicing physical distance from those not in your household.
• Watching a televised event from the comfort of your living room.
• Donating canned goods and non-perishable items to your local food bank.

Lower risk: Staying at home
Limit traveling and instead stay at home with only those who live in your household is the lowest risk.
• Have a small dinner with individual meals instead of a family-style spread or order-in to support local businesses.
• Host a virtual dinner and share family recipes.
• Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after preparing food.
• If you want to shop for the Holidays, consider ordering online or using curbside pickup and avoiding large crowds.
• Limit traveling if possible.

Moderate risk: Hosting a small dinner
• If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, do not host or attend a gathering.
• Keep the number of people gathering at your home to just those within your social bubble.
o Enjoying your company and eating outdoors is safest
o Immediate family or those within your social bubble are ideal to host
o Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas often
o Have plenty of hand sanitizer available
o Keep visits short
• Provide plated meals and avoid buffet-style service
o Designate “servers” to serve food who have washed their hands with soap for 20 seconds in preparation to serve food
o Arrange tables and chairs to encourage physical distancing while allowing people from the same household to sit together
• Support local business and order-in.

Higher Risk Activities
Attending a small gathering
• If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, stay home.
• Visiting immediate family and those within your social bubble is best.
• The way you greet your family and friends will change. To keep everyone safe, avoid the common hugs and kisses with those who do not live in your household.
• Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds upon arrival and before handling food.
• If asked to bring a food or beverage item, premade options that are individually packaged are safest. If you decide to make a homemade dish, wash hands with soap for 20 seconds. If you are feeling sick, do not prepare a meal for others to consume.
• Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces and shared items.
• Do not share food and drinks with those that do not live in your household.
• Avoid buffet-style food service.
• If gathering outdoors is not feasible, sit in a room that is well-ventilated or near an open window.
• Keep visits short.

Attending a large gathering
The following activities should be avoided to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Shopping in crowded stores.
• Attending a large family gathering with multiple people from outside your household or outside your social bubble in an indoor location.
• Using alcohol or drugs.

Visiting a loved one in a nursing home or congregate facility
• If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, stay home, and do not visit a loved one in a nursing home or congregate facility.
• Follow the facility's Health and Human Services Commission guidelines.
• If able to self-quarantine 14 days before a gathering, it is recommended to do so.
• If possible, get tested for COVID-19 to ensure you are negative prior to visiting.
Traveling out of town
• If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, stay home, and do not travel out of town.
• Wear a mask in public settings like public and mass transportation.
• Avoid close contact by staying six feet apart from anyone who is not from your household.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• If able to self-quarantine 14 days before a gathering, it is recommended to do so.