The holidays are right around the corner and celebrating safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic is of utmost importance. Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses a low risk for the spread of the virus, while in-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk. It is import-ant to remember that several factors contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with COVID-19 at a holiday celebration. Follow these guidelines to help make your next gathering safer:
- COMMUNITY LEVELS OF COVID-19
Family and friends should consider the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when considering whether to host or attend a holiday celebration. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location—as well as where attendees are coming from—increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Information on the number of cases in an area you are planning to visit can be found on the county’s or state’s health department website.
- LOCATION OF THE GATHERING
Indoor gatherings pose more of a risk than outdoor gatherings. Gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk, so open those windows or doors for fresh air if you can.
- DURATION OF THE GATHERING
Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter get-togethers.
- NUMBER OF PEOPLE GATHERING
The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability to reduce or limit contact between attendees; the risk of spread between attendees; and state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations.
- WHERE ATTENDEES ARE TRAVELING FROM
Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.
- BEHAVIORS BEFORE AND DURING A GATHERING
Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and other prevention behaviors pose more risk.