Staying Safe at Thanksgiving

Due to the pandemic, the City of Everett and the CDC are recommending families make modifications to their traditional celebrations.

According to the CDC, the pandemic is worsening and small household gatherings are a significant contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The CDC is strongly advising people to adjust their holiday plans this year to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to their friends, family, and community. They have provided suggestions on how people can slow the spread of the virus while still celebrating this holiday season.

There are some lower risk activities that you can participate in on Thanksgiving. These activities include:

• Having a small Thanksgiving dinner with only people who live in your household.

• Host a virtual dinner with extended family and friends. Show off your favorite dishes and share your favorite recipes.

• Host a Thanksgiving meal outdoors, if possible.

• Go for a walk with extended family members, while wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart.

• Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.

• Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.

• Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving. Use contactless services like curbside pick-up or shop in open air markets and stay 6 feet away from others.

Please take caution if you choose to participate in additional activities that are considered high risk this year. These activities include:

• Attending or hosting indoor gatherings with people from outside your home.

• Sharing food and drinks.

• Shaking hands and hugging. Instead, wave and verbally greet others.

• Singing, dancing, and shouting. These activities increase your chances of catching COVID-19 through the air.

• Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving.

If you are planning to spend Thanksgiving outside of your home or with people outside of your household, please take precautions. At any time you are around people who you do not live with, wear a mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly, and practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving and welcoming guests into your home, here are some tips that can help you have a safe gathering:

• Keep it small and limit the number of guests. In Boston, indoor gatherings should be 10 people or less.

• Asks guests to wear a mask at all times, unless they are eating and drinking, and to stay 6 feet apart when possible.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items in between use.

• Ask guests to avoid going in and out of areas where the food is being prepared and handled, such as the kitchen.

• Do not share food, drink, or any utensils.

• Have guests bring their own food and drink.

• Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, potlucks, or drink stations.

• If sharing food, have one person (wearing a face mask and gloves) serve food and use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items, like food containers, plates, and utensils.

• Consider small seating table arrangements in multiple rooms with plenty of spacing, instead of a large family table.

• Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.

• For 14 days before and after holiday gatherings, minimize contact with other people, and leave home for only essential services like going to work, buying groceries, and doctor appointments.

Traditionally, many people travel for Thanksgiving. Although it is strongly recommended that you stay home this year to protect yourself and others from the virus, there are guidelines that can help those who plan on travelling stay safe:

• Know the higher-risks states and what the Massachusetts travel orders mean for when you return home.

• Wear a face covering at all times in public.

• Stay 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.

• Get a flu shot before traveling (if you have not already).

• Wash your hands often and/or use hand sanitizer regularly.

• Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Please do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone you live with:

• Tested positive for COVID-19 and have not recovered.

• Has symptoms of COVID-19.

         •           Is waiting for COVID-19 test results.

         •           May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks.

         •           Is at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions. It is important that we are do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This virus is very easily contracted and gatherings such as Thanksgiving can be more harmful that people expect. Remember to always wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. The City of Everett strongly encourages you to celebrate Thanksgiving, but in a safe and healthy manner.

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