Celebrating safely during a pandemic: CDC’s message on Thanksgiving gatherings

Celebrating safely during a pandemic: CDC’s message on Thanksgiving gatherings

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - There are also safe ways to spend the holiday with people outside your household. But the Centers for Disease Control says the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with people in your household. Health experts warn small gatherings are a leading cause for new COVID-19 cases.

“Think about the ways that COVID is transmitted and try to minimize that risk,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond - Henrico Health Districts Director.

If you are attending a gathering, health experts say consider bringing your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils. Make sure to wear a mask and avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared.

“Space that out. You either have larger tables where people are distanced. Again, outside is always better than inside. Getting folks away from that close prolonged contact,” said Dr. Avula.

If you are hosting, keep it small. Try having it outside and have a conversation with those coming to set expectations. If you will be sharing food, try having one person dedicated to serving.

“A lot of times the way we do our family gatherings, the close congregation around a table or the set up of a buffet, is something that brings everybody into close proximity on repeated occasions,” said Dr. Avlua.

If your holiday travels take you further than over the river and through the woods, check travel restrictions for your destination, wear a mask in public spaces and bring plenty of hand sanitizer with you.

And don’t forget about Black Friday. Retail stores are open in Virginia. But the experts say try shopping online or use curbside pick-up. If that’s not an option, try shopping in an open-air place like Short Pump Town Center.

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