Celebrating Thanksgiving During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Provided by Prince William County

Families often travel long distances to celebrate Thanksgiving together. However, travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying at home is the best way to protect oneself and others. For those who must travel, be sure to take precautions, follow travel guidance and be informed of the risks involved.

Consider fun Thanksgiving alternatives that pose lower risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer additional ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving more safely this year.

Lower Risk Activities

  • Have a small dinner with your family or people who reside in your household.
  • Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that does not involve contact with others.
  • Have a virtual dinner with friends and family.
  • Have virtual cooking activities to share and make thanksgiving recipes with friends and family.
  • Shop online, rather than in person, on the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) or the following Monday (Cyber Monday).
  • Watch sporting events, parades and movies from home.

Moderate Risk Activities

  • Have a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Visit pumpkin patches or orchards where:
    • People use hand sanitizer before and after touching pumpkins or picking apples.
    • Wearing masks is enforced.
    • People can maintain social distancing.
  • Attend small outdoor sporting events within your community with safety precautions in place.

Higher Risk Activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving.
  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race or other sporting event.
  • Attending crowded parades.
  • Using excessive alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors.
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.

For more information about celebrating Thanksgiving safely this year, visit the CDC website.


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