CDC reveals considerations for the holidays

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As Thanksgiving approaches, many wonder what the holiday will look like this year with COVID-19 surges across the country. The CDC has released recommendations for lessening the risk while celebrating.

Thanksgiving is a holiday most known for its large family gatherings and dinners enjoyed with friends, but this year, the CDC suggests holding virtual dinners or small family dinners instead, especially in areas with higher levels of coronavirus cases. If you are contemplating hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, the CDC recommends looking at not only the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in your own community, but also those of the communities where your potential guests live. This information can be found on each area’s health department website.

If you decide to host a gathering, keep in mind that indoor gatherings pose a greater risk of exposure than outdoor gatherings. If you must meet indoors, be sure to provide good ventilation, with open windows and doors. The longer the duration of the gathering, the higher the risk, and the larger the guest list, the higher the risk.

“The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees, the risk of spread between attendees, and state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations.”

The CDC also suggests you be mindful of the behaviors of your potential guests. Do they normally adhere to social distancing guidelines and hand washing, and do they wear masks when in public?

If you choose to host an event, consider requiring masks and enforcing social distancing and hand washing.

Other Thanksgiving weekend traditions include Black Friday shopping and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The CDC recommends shopping online and, according to a Macy’s press release, for the first time in almost 100 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a television only presentation.

“New York City is always proud to join Macy’s to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world. We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Macy’s believes in celebration and the joy of marking milestone moments with family and friends. The Macy’s Parade is our love letter and gift to the city of New York and the nation. Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose — to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation.”

The 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, in all time zones. For more information visit macys.com/parade. To follow and participate in the excitement, check out @macys on various social platforms and follow #MacysParade.

As your family participates in outdoor activities this fall, the CDC recommends ways to make these outings safer. Wear a mask and social distance when visiting pumpkin patches. Avoid fall festivals, sporting events, attending parades or races and stay away from indoor activities such as shopping in a crowded store.

In addition, the CDC suggests avoiding alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behavior.

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