A family celebrating Thanksgiving virtually
Healthy Living

COVID-19 and Thanksgiving: How to Celebrate Safely

Nov 23 2021

Every year, we all look forward to the holiday season. It is always a special time to reflect on the past months, feel grateful and spend quality time with loved ones.

As we plan to attend traditional gatherings, it is still important to follow precautions to host or attend a safe and healthy event. Learn about the risks involved with traveling and gathering during this time and a few tips on how to safely celebrate with loved ones this year.

Traveling for Thanksgiving

Whenever you travel, you are at some sort of risk for contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. The risk level varies depending on factors like how far you are traveling and what mode of transportation you are using.

While traveling, you always come into contact with others. When flying, this could be when you are waiting in line to board the plane. When driving, this could be at the gas station when you make a stop.

If you are traveling for Thanksgiving this week, here are some safety tips:

  • The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not, get tested both before and after your trip.
  • Those who are at higher risk or not fully vaccinated should wear a face mask properly when in public and at the gathering.
  • Wash your hands frequently and carry hand sanitizer for those situations where warm water and soap might not be easily accessible.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Practice physical distancing and stay away from individuals showing symptoms of sickness.

Finally, don’t forget to check your destinations local guidelines as some state and local governments still have traveling restrictions.

Safely celebrate Thanksgiving this year

There is no need to postpone or skip in-person Thanksgiving celebrations this year. Here are some safety precautions to follow in order to keep family and friends safe.

  • Ask guests to get the COVID-19 immunization and flu vaccine.
  • Hosts or guests not fully vaccinated should wear a mask and wash hands often, including before and after eating.
  • To avoid spreading germs, keep sanitizer by the food and drink stations for a self-serve set up.
  • If you or anyone joining your celebration are exposed to sickness or someone with COVID-19 prior to the day reschedule, or celebrate virtually.

For those who might be unable to attend in-person events or those who feel more comfortable keeping gatherings to those within their immediate household, here are some different ways to join in on the traditions:

  • Share a virtual dinner with loved ones. Choose your favorite video chat app and set up a camera at the dinner table. You’ll still be able to talk and laugh as you eat your favorite holiday foods.
  • Deliver meals to others. This may be the perfect year to start a new tradition. Prepare and drop off holiday meals to neighbors or family and friends who cannot celebrate with their loved ones or who have been financially affected by the pandemic.
  • Visit an outdoor pumpkin patch, apple orchard or Christmas tree farm. Use hand sanitizer, and wear masks for greater protection.

When in doubt, stay home

Right now, COVID-19 cases are on the rise everywhere. You absolutely need to stay home if you recently tested positive for COVID-19 or feel sick at all. If you tested positive and don’t feel sick, you can still spread the virus to others.

Stay home if you have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are waiting for your own test results. The CDC states that you need to self-quarantine for 10 days after your most recent exposure.

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

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