Coronavirus: CDC releases guidelines for a safe Thanksgiving celebration

Credit: Shutterbug75 /

Credit: Shutterbug75 /

The Center for Disease Control has released guidelines to have a safe Thanksgiving celebration amid the coronavirus pandemic. Officials recommend wearing a mask, social distancing and hosting small gatherings with single-use utensils.

The CDC recommends keeping a celebration limited to those within your household. However, if you have travel plans for the holidays, the CDC recommends checking travel restrictions, getting a flu shot before you travel, wearing a mask in public settings and bringing extra supplies such as hand sanitizer and masks. However, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

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Masks, hand washing and social distancing are also important to avoid spreading the virus, the CDC said. If you are spending Thanksgiving with people outside your household, the CDC recommends wearing masks and sitting at least six feet apart from each other, which is important especially for those at higher risk of COVID-19, such as older adults and those with other medical conditions or weakened immune systems. Masks should be over the mouth and nose and fit snugly around the chin and at the sides of the face, the CDC said.

If you plan to host or attend a Thanksgiving gathering, bringing your own plates, food, drinks and utensils can help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, single-use options like salad dressing and condiment packets and disposable utensils, food containers and plates can help limit spread between people, the CDC said. Hosts are recommended to have their meal outdoors with limited guests, particularly in the food preparation area. Hosts should ensure that frequently touched areas are cleaned and disinfected frequently and should consider having one person serve food if food will be shared.

The CDC recommends hosting a virtual Thanksgiving with friends and family that don’t live with you. Friends and family can show off the food they prepared and share recipes virtually. Another option is preparing a dish traditionally and delivering it to friends or family in a way that does not involve contact, such as leaving it on the porch.

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To celebrate with your family members, the CDC recommends finding movies, sports or Thanksgiving parades to watch at home or play a game together. You can also participate in a gratitude activity such as writing down things you and your household are thankful for.

For Black Friday shopping, the CDC recommends shopping online or using contactless or curbside pickup options, as well as shopping at open-air markets and staying six feet away from others.

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