CDC has updated its seasonal COVID-19 guidelines for 2021, recommending outdoor gatherings and virtual events over indoor celebrations. Many public events and gatherings (e.g., concerts, sporting events, parades, fairs, etc.) have been canceled and shifted toward virtual events due to Covid-19 and because outdoor gatherings pose a high risk for transmission of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses.
The CDC provides advice on the safest method of enjoying” holidays through virtual celebrations, socially distant gatherings outside, or celebrating with just those from the same family. The CDC urges individuals to be vaccinated if able, for those who want to celebrate in person, and to talk with those they meet to not to attend the meeting if they are unwell or have COVID 19 symptoms.
For those planning gatherings, CDC offers the following tips to help minimize the spread of Covid-19:
- Think about safety first.
Maintain social distancing, but make sure everyone feels safe. Create separate spaces where folks can gather, and limit the number of people invited. When possible, use face masks, handwashing stations, and social distancing to keep everyone safe. Limit the number of guests, and limit their interactions with each other to brief, face-to-face conversations. Plan your event so that it ends before 8 p.m.
- Be creative.
Live-streaming video can be a great way to stay in touch. Create a “Virtual Potluck” where everyone brings a dish to share, and stream everyone’s contributions. You can also watch a football game together.
- Prepare your space.
Clear out clutter before guests arrive. Wash and disinfect surfaces, including countertops, tables, chairs and floors. Be sure to use disinfectant wipes or spray on door handles, countertops and tabletops. Keep surfaces clean, and dispose of trash regularly.
- Stay healthy.
Keep up with healthy habits, like washing your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Encourage guests to wash their hands often.
- Get tested.
Take precautions to avoid getting sick, but if you’re sick, get tested. If you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, be sure to stay at home and limit contact with others as much as possible.