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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving During COVID-1911/18/2020

Celebrating Thanksgiving During COVID-19

Virtual Thanksgiving celebration

It’s turkey season! Here’s how to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020 without compromising the health and safety of you and your family.

Planning a Thanksgiving dinner

The best plan for a safe Thanksgiving this year, is staying home and enjoying the company of your immediate household. If you do plan to host an in-person Thanksgiving dinner this year, take these steps to ensure your day is as safe as possible

  • Keep it outside.  Moving Thanksgiving dinner outdoors greatly reduces spreading coronavirus, according to the CDC. If that’s not possible, keep your home well-ventilated during Thanksgiving dinner by opening some windows and doors.
  • Limit attendees. The CDC cautions that larger gatherings, by default, pose a greater risk of spread. It's best to limit you gathering to only one other household, if possible.
  • Keep it local - It’s also important to consider your guests’ hometowns when drawing up an invite list. The CDC recommends keeping Thanksgiving dinners to local guests only this year.
  • Short and sweet. The CDC warns that longer gatherings pose a greater risk than shorter dinners. You can cut down on the hours your guests linger around the table by adding a finish time to your invitations.

Attending and hosting a dinner

Whether attending a Thanksgiving dinner or welcoming dinner guests into your own home, follow the CDC’s general guidelines for reducing the risk of contagion.

  • Set up sanitizing station. Have guests sanitize upon arrival or offer to bring one to your host’s home.
  • Space seating. Aim to space guest with several feet between each chair.
  • Follow basic hygiene practices. Follow practices, such as coughing and sneezing into the bend of your elbow.

Going virtual - the best option for 2020

According to the CDC, anyone who’s been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be near others, currently has symptoms of COVID-19, is waiting for COVID-19 test results, may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days or is considered high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should not attend any in-person holiday celebrations.

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise, the best option for safe Thanksgiving celebration is a virtual Thanksgiving.  It's hard not to be sitting at the dining table next our loved ones during the holidays, but it's important to be safe so those loved ones can be with us for many holidays to come. 

How to plan a festive virtual celebration:

  • Plan a shared dinner experience in advance. This can include a shared menu and lighting the same scented candles.
  • Prep your dinners together on a video chat.
  • Drop off a basket of Thanksgiving treats at each of your virtual guests’ doorsteps.
  • Video chat your “shared” Thanksgiving dinners.

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