Ensure your patients have a fun and safe COVID-19 Thanksgiving holiday with these quick CDC-based tips.
Cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to climb across the US and small household gatherings are a key contributor to this increase. For this reason, many patients will have to modify their usual holiday traditions to ensure their own safety as well as loved ones. As patients start to plan their Thanksgiving day with COVID-19-related restrictions in mind, 2 questions might arise in your next visit: What risk factors should I be aware of? and Which loved ones should NOT attend Thanksgiving gatherings?
Educate your patients on 7 risk factors they should be aware of and which loved ones should stay home this Thanksgiving with tips from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the slides below.
1. Community levels of COVID-19. Advise patients to consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community AND the community they plan to celebrate in when deciding to host or attend a gathering.
2. Exposure during travel. Advise patients to avoid airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops as they are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
3. Location, location, location. Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (eg, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.
4. Duration of the gathering. Longer gatherings pose more risk vs shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of ≥15 minutes greatly increases risk of infection and requires 14-day quarantine.
5. Number of people at the gathering. Although the CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings, it recommends the size of the gathering be determined based on ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear masks, wash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
6. Behaviors of attendees before the gathering. Persons who did not consistently adhere to social distancing, mask wearing, handwashing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk vs those who consistently practiced these safety measures.
7. Behaviors of attendees during the gathering. Gatherings with more safety measures in place pose less risk vs gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented. Use of alcohol or drugs may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
Which loved ones should not attend in-person? The following people SHOULD NOT attend in-person holiday gatherings:
• 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