The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently issued guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations in light of the continuing risks associated with COVID-19 exposure. The CDC recommends that: “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.” The CDC believes that having a small dinner with just household members is the safest bet. Or, if necessary, having a “virtual dinner” with family and friends.

These suggestions are designated “low risk activities” by the CDC. A “moderate risk” activity is defined, among other things, as “[h]aving a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community.” If you decide to do the latter, the CDC recommends that the placing of the table and chairs follows social distancing guidelines, i.e., be six feet away from those people from other families. When guests arrive, “do not shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs,”  the CDC emphatically suggests. Moreover, masks should be worn if there is a likelihood that people will be less than six feet apart.

In such holiday gatherings, hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds when entering or exiting the site of the gathering. The sanitizer used should be made available in restrooms. It should contain at least 60% alcohol. Also, such washing of the hands should be done before serving any food.