As holidays are now here it adds a new question many new people are asking. Should I hold or attend Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family? Planning for Thanksgiving and Covid19 can add more stress for holidays. We must each decide what we will do and if we decide to hold holidays with extended family what needed precautions should be taken to reduce our chances of contracting Covid19.
CDC highly recommends for Thanksgiving individuals stay home and celebrate only with those you live with. If you choose to do a family gathering limit to no more than 10 – 12 individuals.
What is my risk for getting sick at a family gathering?
It is now being reported by health officials having close contact with others in little as 15 minutes can greatly increase your chance of contracting Covid19. As of November 23rd the United States has 12,247,487 Covid19 cases. In the past 7 days we have seen a increase of over 1 million cases showing the United States may be reaching a peak in each state.
Covid19 is spread with close contact with individuals who are sick by air droplets in air which are being breathed by those around them or which can land on others face and body. Once breathed in or if a person rubs their eyes or wipes mouth the infection has now entered the body.
Symptoms can take up to 14 days before an individual will show signs of being sick. A good rule to follow is act as if everyone you come in contact with could be sick and take needed precautions reducing your risk of becoming sick.
Symptoms for Covid19 are:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny nose
8 Precautions for family gatherings
1. Wash your hands often
Washing your hands is a great practice anytime we are handling or preparing food. Additionally we should wash our hands after throwing away garbage, picking up others silverware and drinkware and cleaning up the table.
2. Avoid Sharing Food
Sharing food and drinks increases chance of spreading infections between individuals. Everyone should use their own utensils, plates and drinkware.
3. Have an outdoor meal (weather permitting)
If you live in an area with warmer weather have your family gathering for Thanksgiving outdoors. Fresh air will reduce proximity to others at gathering. By spending time outdoors fresh air helps move air and reduce chance of you becoming in contact with any infected particles in the air.
4. Open windows for ventilation
As the weather starts to get colder in many states we are increasing the amount of time we are spending indoors. However by opening windows you are helping fresh air move air droplets thru air quicker helping reduce chance of infection of Covid19 and other infections.
5. Have separate tables for each family if possible
One of the best parts of holidays is catching up with extended family and sharing new memories together. However with Covid19 extra planning should be done.
- Have a separate table for each family who live together
- Don’t have a separate table for kids and instead have them seated with parents
- Have separate serving bowls, serving utensils and pitchers of water at each table
6. Cooking and serving food
During holidays gatherings one place people love to hang out is in the kitchen. However this year it is highly recommend limiting amount of people in the kitchen.
- Limit people in kitchen to people cooking and individuals who live in home. At most have 1 additional person helping.
- Wash hands whenever leaving or coming back into kitchen to reduce spread of germs
- Have 1 person serving up food into platters and 1 person who will place food on tables
7. Cleaning and Disinfecting Common Areas
More people in home requires extra precautions. Here are few recommendations:
- Have a bottle of hand sanitizer in each room you have company
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas prior to anyone visiting home and again after company has left
- Clean countertops after serving food
- Clean and disinfect table surfaces after picking up plates, silverware and utensils
- Have dirty dishes in one common area to limit cross contamination and spreading of germs
8. Physical Contact
Right now it is still highly recommended limiting physical contact with people who live outside your home.
- Wear a face mask as much as possible around individuals who you don’t live with
- Avoid hugging and shaking hands when greeting and saying goodbye
- Find new creative ways to say hello and goodbye
- Stay 6 feet apart from individuals who live outside your home
We wish you a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Thank you for reading our article and please share any tips you have below.