It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time for friends and family to come together to celebrate the holidays. Many will be hosting guests in their homes over the next two months, and while they are surely delighted to spend time with family and friends, it can be a stressful time as well. Especially this year while in the midst of a pandemic. Nobody wants to miss out on this precious time with loved ones, but it may look a little different this year. Large gatherings and travel from afar just are not safe right now. If you are opening your doors to family members or friends this holiday season, here are some ideas for hosting a safe gathering.
- Consider having your celebration outdoors (weather permitting). Dining al fresco or enjoying snacks and drinks around a fire pit are good options. If the weather does not cooperate and you must stay indoors, be sure there is good ventilation with open doors and windows if possible.
- Keep gatherings limited to people from your local area. Attendees coming from outside the area pose a greater risk. Traveling increases the possibility of exposure. If you are going to travel (or your guests are), the safest alternative is to drive in a car with people that you live with and make as few stops as possible.
- Limit the number of people you invite to your gathering. Follow state guidelines where you live regarding numbers and make sure you have enough space for social distancing. List of Coronavirus Related Restrictions in Every State
- Advise your guests ahead of time regarding any Covid-19 safety guidelines you are implementing and what steps you have taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Either provide or encourage guests to bring extra masks, hand sanitizer or other items for their safety.
- Keep your get together short and sweet. The longer a gathering is, the more the risk for Covid-19 increases.
- Elderly people, people with underlying health conditions, or anyone diagnoses with Covid-19 or exposed to it and awaiting test results should not attend gatherings. For those who do choose to get together keep the following in mind:
- Maintain distance from people outside your own household and avoid small/enclosed areas.
- Avoid physical contact such as hugging, shaking hands or even bumping elbows.
- ALWAYS have a mask on when around people outside of your household.
- Avoid loud talking, singing and laughing in close proximity to others without a mask on.
- Follow social distancing protocols in the two weeks leading up to your family gathering.
Remember that the safest option this year is to stay home and celebrate only with those who live in your household. Zoom and Facetime are also great options to bring family together. But if you are going to host an in-person gathering, please follow the above tips to protect yourself and your loved ones.