With COVID-19 on the rise across the United States, it comes without saying that this year’s holiday festivities will look and feel different than years’ past. 2020 has been challenging for many and the need for reconnecting with loved ones is higher than usual. We are here to provide you with our top tips to consider when mingling with those outside of your household this holiday season.
Wear a mask that is equipped to protect.
Masks have become a staple in our daily lives, but it’s important to consider what kind of mask you use and how you are wearing it when preparing to be around others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends masks with at least two layers and are worn over both the nose and mouth.
Six (or more) feet of distance is safest.
Distance is key when it comes to protecting the spread of airborne viruses such as the novel coronavirus and influenza. Experts recommend a minimum of six feet between yourself and those who do not live under the same roof as you. To take the tip a step further, consider opening windows and utilizing outdoor space during gatherings to decrease the chance of germs spreading.
Designate one person to plate and serve food.
With multiple hands touching the same serving utensils, bacteria can multiply quickly. By having one person fulfilling the role of scooping and serving, you significantly reduce that risk and create a safer environment for everyone to enjoy the foods they love.
Opt for single-use utensils, condiments, and plates.
Similar to the previously mentioned recommendation, by taking any opportunity to reduce the number of hands that touch the same surface, you are decreasing the chances of illness.
Wash hands before, during, and after.
All guests should participate in frequent hand-washing upon arrival, as well as before, during, and after the highly-anticipated meal. Do not be afraid to kindly request that families bring their own hand sanitizer to share amongst themselves for convenient access to clean hands throughout the gathering. Don’t forget that hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol and hand washing sessions should last for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Consider creative and safer alternatives to mixed-household gatherings.
While it may be the hardest option of the bunch, the safest choice to protect your family from coronavirus and other seasonal illnesses is to limit your gathering to just those in your home. But, on the bright side, the pandemic has revealed a number of creative ways for families to connect while keeping their distance. Consider hosting a free Zoom call with those outside of your household, use social media to instill fun family competition by having a cookie decorating contest, or simply hop on a call and remind a loved one of your gratitude for them.
From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you and yours a safe and healthy holiday season. Should you need pediatric after-hours care or COVID-19 tests for an adult or child, know that our doors are open all 365 days of the year, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. To see which location is open, visit our “Locations” page and click on each clinic to reveal their holiday operations.