Considerations for Celebrating the Holidays During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Coronavirus cases in many states across the country are at an all-time high, including in Washington. And now that the holidays are here, many people are left wondering how to enjoy the season safely. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you plan your holiday celebrations.
Household and Virtual Holiday Celebrations
According to the CDC, celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses the lowest risk for the spread of COVID-19. For virtual celebrations, get inspired by a recent blog we published, 10 Ways to Make Virtual Holidays Special. A little planning can help ensure the holidays are still fun and festive, and that this time of year still brings people together.
And if you’re planning to celebrate with just your household this year, consider ways you can take advantage of a quieter holiday to create memorable moments. Enjoy a cozy day with your family in pajamas while watching your favorite seasonal movies, playing games, and sipping hot cocoa. If you like to be active, consider renting a cabin and spending the holidays enjoying the outdoors.
Recommendations for Gatherings
If you are planning to gather with loved ones, here are some recommendations from the CDC to help reduce risk:
- Wear masks during the celebrations and if you are hosting, require guests to wear masks, too.
- Avoid gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. If possible, host an outdoor gathering.
- Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow for physical distancing.
- Avoid contact with people outside your household for 14 days before the gathering, and encourage others who will be attending to do the same.
- Avoid potluck-style gatherings.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water during the event, and encourage others to do the same.
- Limit time spent at gathering and avoid staying overnight in homes with people outside of your household.
- Keep pets from different households away from each other.
Additional Factors to Consider
If you’re still on the fence on whether to gather with people outside of your household, consider these factors when making your decision:
- Vulnerability of yourself and others in your household. Older adults and people with medical conditions are more likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.
- Location of gathering. Would the event require you to travel out of state? Is the location of the gathering in a COVID-19 hotspot? Will the celebration be held indoors or outdoors? These are all important questions to consider when assessing the risk of a gathering.
- Size and duration of gathering. Take into account how many people will be attending the gathering and how long people are planning to celebrate together.
- Behavior of other guests at the gathering. Even if you are cautious and isolate 14 days before the gathering, you can’t be sure that others will do the same (and some people might not be able to due to their job). Find out what precautions others are taking before the gathering and whether guests will adhere to wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing during the event.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, taking precaution during the holiday season is crucial. Keep these considerations in mind when making plans, and help reduce risk for you and your loved ones.