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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving During COVID-19

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

If you’ll be hosting an in-person Thanksgiving dinner this year, take steps to ensure your day is as safe as possible.

First, consider hosting it outside. Moving Thanksgiving dinner outdoors 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.

Second, try to limit the number of attendees. The CDC cautions that larger gatherings, by default, pose a greater risk of spread. Also, consider your state and local mandates regarding gatherings.

It’s also important to consider your guests’ hometowns when drawing up an invitation list. The CDC recommends keeping Thanksgiving dinners to local guests only this year.

Finally, 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.

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 a sanitizing station for guests to use upon arrival or offer to bring one to your host’s home. If possible, space the seating so there are several feet between each chair. Also, follow basic hygiene practices at Thanksgiving dinner, such as coughing and sneezing into the bend of your elbow.

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.

Here’s how to keep the holiday festive with a 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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