Prepare patients for a safe Thanksgiving with key CDC-based recommendations including alternative Thanksgiving activities, steps to take if exposed to COVID-19, and more.
As confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the US have surpassed 12 million, it is clear that millions of Americans are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving a little differently this year.
With that in mind, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently updated its recommendations for celebrating Thanksgiving safely during COVID-19 including alternative Thanksgiving activities and steps to take if exposed to COVID-19 during a gathering. Find out more in the slides below.
Considering travel? If so, ask yourself and loved ones these questions beforehand:
• Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for COVID-19?
• Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination?
• Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients?
• Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
Considering travel? If so, ask yourself and loved ones these questions beforehand (cont.):
• In the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
• Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make social distancing difficult?
• Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?
If You Do Travel:
• Check travel restriction beforehand
• Get your flu shot beforehand
• Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, when around people you don’t live with
• Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone you don’t live with
• Wash hands often or use hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, mouth
• Bring extra supplies (eg, masks, hand sanitizer)
• Know when to delay your travel
Attending a gathering. Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving. However, if you choose to attend a gathering, bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils; wear a mask and safely store it while eating and drinking; avoid getting in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled; and use single-use options and disposable items to ensure everyone's safety.
Hosting a gathering. If having guests at your home, the CDC recommends you follow these steps:
• Have small outdoor meal with family, friends who live in your community.
• Limit the number of guests.
• Talk with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
• Clean, disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
Hosting a gathering (cont.). If having guests at your home, the CDC recommends you follow these steps:
• If celebrating indoors, open doors and windows to allow fresh air in OR use a window fan to blow air out.
• Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
• Have guests bring their own food and drink.
• If sharing food, have 1 person serve food and use single-use options.
Alternative Thanksgiving Activities:
• Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with loved ones you don’t live with.
• Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, movies, etc. with people in your household.
• Shop online sales.
• Use contactless services for purchased items when out shopping.
• Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others, wear a mask.
If exposed to COVID-19 at gathering, while traveling, or at any time:
• Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with an infected person.
• Stay away from others, especially persons at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
• Watch for fever (≥100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms.
• Consider getting tested for COVID-19.
• Do not travel until 14 days after your last possible exposure.
If you cannot completely stay away from people during quarantine:
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
• Wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose when you are around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Monitor yourself and household members for symptoms.
• Get information about COVID-19 testing if you feel sick.
If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the event:
• Immediately notify host and others who attended.
• Contact your health care provider and follow CDC-recommended steps for what to do if you become sick.
• Follow public health recommendations for community-related exposure.
For more CDC-based tips for a COVID-19 Thanksgiving, check out A COVID-19 Thanksgiving: CDC Tips to Give Patients for a Safe Holiday.