April 23, 2024

Planning Holiday Gatherings During the Pandemic? The CDC Has Tips

If you are planning holiday gatherings during the pandemic, the CDC has some timely tips. Right now, the coronavirus is spreading uncontrolled through most of the United States. Scientists were afraid this would happen as people got tired of social distancing and started to spend more time indoors.

Planning Holiday Gatherings During the Pandemic? The CDC Has Tips

First of all, celebrating virtually is the safest way to spend the holidays. Only socialize with people in your household – that is, anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your home. Anyone who doesn’t currently live with ou, including college students who are coming home for the holidays, are considered from other households.

Second, if you are having and in-person holiday event, there are some things to this about. If the community levels of COVID-19 in your location, as well as where others are coming from, is high, rethink your  plans. In addition, exposure during travel poses a risk.

Third, the location of the gathering is critical. Outdoor events are the safest. Indoor events, especially in smaller rooms with poor ventilation, are risky.

And timing is important. Gatherings that last longer have much more risk than shorter gatherings. The standard now is that being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19, whether or not they are symptomatic, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases your risk for getting sick.

Finally, the number of people is crucial. Gatherings with more people pose more risk than smaller groups. The CDC doesn’t specify a number, but many states are limiting indoor private gatherings to a certain number, most often 10 or fewer people.

It’s also important to think about the behavior of those attending the part before the gathering. If those people did not wear masks, did not observe social distancing, and didn’t practice scrupulous handwashing, they pose more risk.

If you are a part of a vulnerable population with a higher risk of serious complications from a COVID-19 infection, it may be best to stay home. And, of course, if you have been exposed to the virus, have symptoms, or have been diagnosed, stay away from others.

As you make your decision while planning holiday gatherings, make sure you also keep food safety in mind. You don’t want to add food poisoning to the mix during this time.

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