As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the United States and Puerto Rico, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reiterated that the safest way to celebrate the holidays is at home.
“Travel and encounters with family and friends with whom you do not live can increase the probability of catching or spreading Covid-19 or influenza,” the CDC said in a publication accompanied with recommendations to avoid contagion in the midst of the pandemic.
The list includes the measures implemented since the emergency began nine months ago, such as hand washing, use of a mask, social distancing and avoiding closed spaces.
In addition to these steps, the CDC recommends taking the following steps when attending a holiday so that everyone at the celebration is safe.
If you attend a Christmas party
- Talk to the host beforehand to understand the expectations of celebrating together.
- Bring your food, drinks, plates, cups, utensils, and condiments.
- Wear a mask both indoors and outdoors.
- Avoid yelling or singing.
- Stay home if you are sick or have been around someone who you think has Covid-19 or has been exposed to the virus.
- It is okay if you decide to stay home and away from other people. Do what is best for you.
If you are hosting a party
- Limit the number of guests.
- Host a small outdoor celebration with family and friends who live in your community, as long as the weather conditions allow.
- Count on extra unused masks for your guests, and encourage everyone to use them indoors and outdoors.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items every time you use them.
- If the celebration will be indoors, let fresh air in by opening doors and windows, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow the air out. This will allow fresh air in through the other open windows.
- Set aside a space for guests to wash their hands or have hand sanitizer available.
- Keep the background music loud so guests don’t have to yell.
- Cancel the meeting if you or someone you live with is sick or has been around someone who you think might have Covid-19.
Food at the party
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, glasses, and utensils.
- Avoid going in and out of areas where food is prepared or handled, such as the kitchen.
- Use single-use options like individual salad dressings and condiments, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
- Use a trash can that does not require hand contact, if one is available.
Other safer activities
- Organize a virtual celebration with family and friends.
- Get together virtually to exchange gifts.
- Host a virtual dance party.
- Attend religious activities online without putting staff and congregation at risk.
- Schedule a virtual tour of the North Pole.