Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite holidays—a day to give thanks to the people and things that we have in our lives. But like everything in 2020, this year’s Thanksgiving will look different. Hosting a large group or attending a gathering at someone else’s home can increase your chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to only celebrate with people in your household.
If you do plan to attend a gathering in a county that is in the Yellow, Orange, or Red Zone, make sure your plans align with the New York State zoning guidelines—and always wear a mask, stay physically distant from others, and wash or sanitize your hands regularly.
If you host guests from outside your household or attend a gathering, wear a mask to decrease the risk of germs spreading. Even if everyone has tested negative for COVID, other germs can still spread through droplets in the air and result in the common cold, flu, sinus infection, and more.
*If you are gathering with others outside your household, maintain social distancing and maximize ventilation by opening windows and spending time outdoors (if possible and weather permits.)
It’s not realistic to avoid touching all surfaces, using utensils, and opening and closing doors on Thanksgiving, so washing your hands regularly can help protect your hands from transferring germs to your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19 and other infections. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Remember that New York State has new travel guidance in effect, so if you can’t avoid traveling during the holiday season, make sure to abide by the regulations.
The CDC has recognized a number of different ways people can celebrate Thanksgiving as well as common activities, and organized them into three categories of risk: low, moderate, and high.
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