Timely Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

COVID-19 cases are dramatically rising across the United States. As cases continue to rapidly increase, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.

Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. This is especially true for people who are at increased risk for severe illness and complications from COVID-19 and the flu.

People at high risk include those over the age of 65, and people of any age with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at any stage, patients on dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer.

Face masks

  • Wear a mask with 2 or more layers to help stop the spread of COVID-19
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face

Social distancing

  • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19 or flu
  • Keeping 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick, including those over the age of 65, and people of any age with kidney disease (CKD) at any stage, patients on dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients.

Frequent handwashing

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

If you are a guest at a gathering

Make your celebration safer. Follow the above tips and take these steps if you will be going to a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils
  • Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking
  • Avoid areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen
  • Have conversations with your hosts ahead of time so everyone knows what expect at the gathering
  • Avoid crowded or poorly ventilated gatherings with people who are not in your household
  • Use single-use salad dressing and condiment packets
  • Use disposable food containers, plates, and utensils

Do not host or attend any in-person gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

If you are hosting a gathering

If you will be inviting guests to your home for Thanksgiving, follow the above listed tips and also:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community
  • Only have a few guests
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use
  • Avoid hosting your gathering in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces with people who are not in your household
  • Limit the number of people in kitchen and other food preparation areas
  • Encourage guests bring their own food and drink
  • Have conversations with your guests ahead of time so everyone knows what expect at the gathering
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils
  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
    1. Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually
    2. Get creative by sharing recipes and showing turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared

Do not host or attend any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including those over the age of 65, and people of any age with kidney disease (CKD) at any stage, patients on dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients.

If you are travelling to a gathering

  • Check travel restrictions before you go
  • Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer

Fun alternatives to a traditional Thanksgiving

  • Watch television and play games with the people in your household
  • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays
    1. Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up
    2. Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others
  • Safely prepare traditional dishes. Deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others -- leave them on the porch!
  • Plan a thankfulness activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family

Thanksgiving celebrations will be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While you need avoid activities that place you and others at risk, it’s important to stay connected – even if virtually – with friends and loved ones.

 

Source: CDC