As the United States continues to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, it is critical that all Americans continue to adhere to the precautions that will help alleviate the spread of the virus and aid in keeping those people with a higher risk of dying from the disease safely. For some, this might mean a cancellation of the Thanksgiving gatherings this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released some guidelines that individuals should consider particularly if you still plan on hosting or attending an in-person gathering during this season. A good start is to investigate the community spread levels of COVID-19 in the location you will be gathering and also where others attending the gathering will be travel from.
It is a known fact that traveling can increase the chances of contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Staying put and canceling travel plans is the best option to protect yourself and others around you. However, if you are planning on traveling for this Thanksgiving season the following are some vital questions to should ask yourself, family, and friends prior to starting your trip. Are cases in your community or the destination high or increasing? Is someone you are visiting, or someone in your household at an increased risk of getting gravely ill from COVID-19? Are the hospitals in the destination state or city or your community overwhelmed? Are there travel restrictions or requirements for your destination or home town? During the fourteen days prior to traveling have you or anyone you will be in contact with been in contact with people they do not live with? Are you going to be traveling with individuals that you do not live with? Will your traveling plans allow you to have a safe distance of six feet, or would this be difficult if on a train, bus, or traveling by air? Answering yes to any of these questions could result in your plans needing to change.
In preparation to travel, you should always check for any travel restrictions; ensure you get your flu shot and COVID-19 test completed before you travel; Always have you mask on when in a public setting, or when traveling on public transportation and when among people that do not live in the same household as you do and stay a minimum of six feet away from them as well. Try very hard to not touch your eyes, nose, mouth, and mask. Travel with extra supplies like hand sanitizer and masks.
Wear a mask that has two or more layers to assist in protecting you and your loved ones from COVID-19. The mask should be worn so that it covers your nose and mouth and then be secured under your chin. You should ensure that the mask fits neatly against the sides of your face.
It is important to note that they are people that are asymptomatic, that is, not showing any signs of the virus, that may be able to spread the Coronavirus. Maintaining the six feet, which is approximately two arm’s length, from others is vitally important for people that maybe if an increased risk of contracting and becoming quite ill from the virus.
Remember to wash your hands often with water and antimicrobial or antibacterial soap for a minimum of twenty seconds. Always have hand sanitizer on your person and use it whenever you are unable to wash your hands properly. The hand sanitizer must be at least sixty percent alcohol.
Attending a family or friend gathering is not necessarily the safest option, but you can make the celebration a bit safer by adhering to the steps provided below: Prepare and take your own food, beverages, plates, cups, and utensils. Wear a mask and ensure that is securely and safely stored while you are eating and drinking. As much as possible shun entering and exiting the areas that food is being prepared or handled, for example, the kitchen. Try as much as possible to use single-use options, for instance, condiments and salad dressing packages, along with disposable items such as plates, food containers, and utensils.
If you are the person hosting the Thanksgiving dinner the following steps should be considered in your plans. Consider having a small outdoor dinner with friends and family that live in the same community as you. Have a limitation on the number of guests you invite. Have a conversation with the invited guests prior to the dinner so that the expectations are set in place regarding the celebration. Frequently clean and disinfect items and surfaces that are being touched in between uses. If the celebrations cannot be outdoors, then ensure that fresh air is being cycled through by opening all the doors and windows, once possible. A window fan can be used in one of the opened windows so that it blows air out of the room through that window, this causes fresh air to be pulled in from the other open windows and doors. In the areas where food is being prepared, limit the number of persons with access to it. Consider having guests prepare and bring their own food and drinks. If you are going to be sharing food, make sure that one person is serving the food and using single-use items such as plastic.
There are other thanksgiving options that you can consider that would allow everyone to be safer and still enjoy the season. Host a virtual meal with family and friends that do not live with you. You can show each other the meals that were prepared or even recipes. Prepare classic Thanksgiving meals and deliver them to your neighbors and family in a safe non-contact way, for instance, leaving the items on the porch for them to collect.