We encourage you and your household to rethink celebrating this year in order to spread holiday cheer…not COVID-19. It’s up to you to stay safe, not only for yourself, but for your family, friends, and community. Here are some more ideas about how to enjoy a joyous, festive, and safer holiday season.
Favor Other Holiday Activities
Just because we keep physical distance doesn’t mean we have to be distant in other ways. There are many creative things you can do to make those closest to you feel loved this holiday season while making sure they stay healthy for many more seasons to come.
Host a virtual meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
- Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
- Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.
Watch television and play games with people in your household
- Watch holiday parades, sports, and movies at home.
- Find a fun game to play.
- Shop online sales for all your holiday gifts.
- Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
- Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others.
- Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
- Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
Considerations for Small Gatherings of Family and Friends
The CDC says: “Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.”
Pitkin County Small Gathering Limits
Small, private gatherings are a primary source of community spread. Due to this quick and steady rise in cases, additional measures must be put in place to prevent Pitkin County from being moved into a more restrictive phase of the state’s Safer at Home Dial. Less congregating are proven strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19. We are hopeful that these measures now will keep us on track to a successful winter season and prevent stricter state-imposed restrictions in the future.
As of October 30,2020, the Pitkin County Public Health Order has been revised to include stricter guidelines for personal gatherings. The number of people allowed to gather in unregulated settings will be limited to 5 people with no more than 2 separate households. THIS INCLUDES EVEN IF GATHERING MASKED, SOCIAL DISTANCED, AND/OR IN OUTDOOR SPACES. This guidance does not apply to restaurants or other establishments with mandated guidelines.
See FAQ – Limit Personal Gatherings to 5 for further guidance.
Attending a Gathering
Make your celebration safer. In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make your holiday season safer, take these additional steps while attending a gathering.
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.
Hosting a Gathering
If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make your celebration safer. Other steps you can take include:
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
- Have guests bring their own food and drink.
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
People who should not attend in-person holiday gatherings
As per the CDC, do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household
- Has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not met the criteria for when it is safe to be around others
- Has symptoms of COVID-19
- Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test results
- May have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19
Do not host or attend gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
People at increased risk for severe illness
If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions who is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
COVID-19 is currently spreading at an alarming rate throughout the United States. Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
If you do travel:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel.
- Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
For Safer Holidays Celebrations
Here are some considerations to keep you and your loved ones safer from COVID-19 during Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, News Years, and other holiday celebrations.
Wear a mask
- Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19 or flu.
- Keeping 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Wash your hands
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.