For many, this will be the first holiday in a long time that they will have no in person gathering or just a very small one. This can be hard especially if you moved into your own home this year and were really looking forward to hosting. To limit your risk of infection and protect your family and friends you have put together this piece with some tips for gathering safely this holiday season.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your guests at an in person gathering this holiday. We’ll break them down for you.
Try to minimize the number of invitees as much as possible. For those that you do invite, you will need to provide them with some guidelines and restrict unwanted guests. So for example, if you are inviting your sister and she is having her in-laws over for the holidays you may want to respectfully decline having her in-laws over. Especially if they had to travel via public transportation (plane, train or bus) to get there.
Provide your guests with a list of supplies that they should bring to the event to promote safety. You will also want to have some of these items on hand as well just in case anyone greets. Think items like:
- Disposable masks
- Hand sanitizers
- Sanitizing Wipes
- Pouch for storing masks between use
During Your Celebration
You will want to ensure you and your guests are following safety guidelines for the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. Keep the following in mind:
- Safe Distancing – While it may be impossible to follow the 6 feet rule you can try to avoid, as best as possible, close contact with your guests and among guests. Have multiple options for seating arrangements so you don’t have to all be gathered around the table. You can possibly rent tables and move some of your furniture to accommodate spacing around the tables.
If there is not adequate space, encourage persons to not sing, or talk loudly.
- Clear the way to high traffic areas – you may want to move out any furniture that may be in the way enroute to the restroom so it is easy for persons to get around without bumping into each other.
- Encourage your guests to keep their masks on when they are not actively eating or drinking.
- Have hand sanitizer stations to encourage proper hygiene. Ensure you provide single use towels in your bathrooms and kitchen for the event.
- Limit persons in the area where the food is being prepared or served. If possible you can ask your guests to prepare and bring food for their group. This way you can greatly reduce the risk of contamination through food.
Try not to offer self serve options and instead have one person sharing each food item. Each server should of course be wearing a mask and food safe gloves.
- Opt for disposable plates, cups and utensils instead of reusable ones.
- Disinfect commonly touched surfaces often and as much as possible between each use. Always wear disposable gloves and toss these after each use.
- Don’t allow your pet to interact with anyone outside of the household.
Post Celebration Tips
AFter the event, take extra precautions for the first 14 days following the event date. If you can quarantine entirely for that time, do so. If not, stay home as much as possible for you and your family members. Get a COVID-19 test and stay home while you wait on the results of the test.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms or if you test positive for the virus you should immediately inform your guests, so they can get tested and isolated to reduce the spread of the virus.
The 2020 holidays will be different from every year before it. If you feel you must have a gathering for your mental health, do it safely. Use the tips above to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Stay safe this holiday season, and well wishes from the SilverBeam Homes Family.