Do: Limit in-person gatherings in size and duration. The more people involved, and the longer the event, the greater the risk.
Don’t: Participate in a holiday gathering if you have symptoms or believe you have been recently exposed to the coronavirus.
Do: Pay attention to the coronavirus infection rates in your community and in places from where out-of-town guests are coming. “When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees,” the CDC states.
Do: Understand who has increased risk of a severe outcome from covid-19. That includes older adults and those with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The CDC recommends that people at increased risk of severe illness participate remotely, rather than in person, in holiday gatherings involving people from outside their household. People who live or work with someone at increased risk should also not participate in such gatherings, the CDC advises.
Do: Get together outside rather than inside if possible. If forced to be indoors, try to open windows and maintain good air circulation.
Do: Wear a mask, stay at least six feet apart and practice good hand hygiene.
Do: Bring your own food, drinks and utensils to gatherings.
Do: If kids go trick-or-treating and reach into a common bowl of candy, make sure they use hand sanitizer afterward. People leaving candy can leave it wrapped in individual bags by the sidewalk.
Don’t: Assume that if you wear a mask you do not need to be physically distanced. Interventions such as masks, distancing and hand-washing are meant to supplement one another to reduce risk of infection.
Don’t: Assume that you are not infectious if you feel healthy. The coronavirus can be spread by people who are asymptomatic.
Do: Talk with family members and friends in advance to create a plan that everyone can abide by and be comfortable with. Be prepared to decline invitations. Think long term: The pandemic won’t last forever.
Don’t: Just wing it.