Friends hosting a holiday party with safety precautions.
Healthy Living

COVID-19 and Holiday Gatherings: How to Safely Host or Attend

Dec 17 2021

The holiday season is fast approaching, and we want nothing more than to be with our loved ones. Across the nation COVID-19 case numbers are once again climbing, and we continue to see people getting sick, needing to be hospitalized and even dying from this virus.

To keep your loved ones safe, take precautions when hosting or attending any type of gathering during this time.

Need some tips on how to keep you and your loved ones safe? We’ve got you covered.

Have masks and hand sanitizer on hand

During a pandemic, party favors definitely look different.

Anyone not fully vaccinated should wear a face mask except when they are eating or drinking. Providing hand sanitizer for guests to use is also a good idea for everyone’s safety.

If you are a guest attending a gathering, planning to get your COVID-19 immunization and flu vaccine is the best way to keep your family and friends safe.

Consider your guest list

You might consider keeping a smaller guest list this year or asking that all guests be fully vaccinated before they come. Ask those not fully vaccinated to wear a mask and remind all guests to frequently wash their hands. If someone is not feeling well or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, do not attend the event.

Keep a list of your guests for the weeks to come. That way, if one of them does come down with COVID-19, you’ll be ready to help assist with any contact tracing for your guests.

Think location

Avoid gathering in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces. Studies so far have shown that COVID-19 doesn’t spread as much when people are outdoors. So, try hosting your gathering in your backyard if you can. When your guests are outdoors, they will have more space to practice social distancing. The air also dilutes any virus particles more quickly when people are outside.

Food safety is key

Serving a holiday dinner can still be a fun and safe tradition for your friends and family. Provide plenty of disposable utensils, cups and plates. This keeps guests safe and the cleanup easier! If any guests are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or not fully vaccinated, have one designated person serve food. Provide a marker for guests to write their name on their drinks to avoid accidental sharing.

If guests are bringing dishes, remind them to sanitize their kitchen and wash their hands often while cooking to avoid spreading any germs. Set a bottle of sanitizer by the food and drinks so guests know to use it before serving themselves.

Keep your bathroom clean

Guests will need to wash their hands throughout their visit to help keep germs at bay. Consider hosting somewhere with multiple bathrooms to allow guests to wash their hands easier and more frequently. Replace cloth towels with paper towels for single use. Have cleaning supplies available so guests can wipe down light switches, sinks, doorknobs and toilet handles after they’re done.

Are you hosting or attending this gathering?

There is another wave of COVID-19 cases upon us. While making your celebration plans, take a moment and ask yourself, “Have I prepared for all guests to practice safety guidelines?”

If you are not fully vaccinated or are at high risk with COVID-19, familiarize yourself with the most recent safety guidelines to keep yourself and loved ones safe.

Consider other ways we are able to connect with one another, such as texting, video chatting or phone calls for people who are unable to attend the event in person. This creates a way for family and friends to enjoy and take part of the tradition safely.

Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.

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