The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.
When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees. The CDC offers the following considerations.
General considerations for fall and winter holidays
People who should not attend in-person holiday celebrations
People with or exposed to COVID-19
Do not host or participate in any in-person festivities if you or anyone in your household:
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
People at increased risk for severe illness
If you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should:
- Avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
- Avoid larger gatherings and consider attending activities that pose lower risk (as described throughout this page) if you decide to attend an in-person gathering with people who do not live in your household.
Lower-risk activities recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
- Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others. Currently, CDC says there is no evidence to suggest that handling or consuming food is associated with COVID-19
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
- Shopping online rather than in person
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, short trips by car with members of your own household with no stops along the way are considered low risk. Those traveling longer distances by car should remember that many of their favorite “stopping places” may be closed. “Drive-through only” may also mean restrooms are closed and travelers should plan accordingly. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved. CDC offers more travel tips here.