Holidays & COVID-19 Risk

As we plan for fall and winter holiday celebrations, Lane County Public Health offers the following considerations to help protect individuals, their families, friends, and our community from COVID-19. 

When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.

 

Share the Magic Not the Virus

Thanksgiving activities.pdf
CDC Thanksgiving

What's your game plan?
Football Game Plan.pdf

THANKSGIVING- Low Risk Activities

  • Activities with members of your household
    • Dinner with only people who live in your household
    •  Trying Pinterest crafts, baking or cooking
    • Decorating!
    • Scavenger hunts
    • Watching sports events, parades, and movies at home
    • Trade sweats for fancier clothes
  • Virtual Activities  
    • Virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
    • Shopping online rather than in person
    • Virtual watch parties for sports events, parades, or movies
    • Set a place at your table for you webcam so loved ones feel like they're at your table
  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors (together over video chat), especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Participate in a virtual 5k - The Turkey Trot and Turkey Stuffer are both offering virtual race options
  • Have friends and family put together a slideshow of things they're thankful for and play it at the end of your meal
  • Appoint a tech-savvy person to help others

THANKSGIVING - Moderate Risk Activities

  • Small Group Activities that can be done outside where physical distance can be maintained and face coverings worn.   
    • Outdoor Movie Night
    • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
  • Shopping during off-peak hours where physical distance can be maintained, masks worn and frequent hand washings or hand sanitizing is available
  • Open-air Fall Attractions where appropriate face covering use is enforced and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • Pumpkin patches or Orchards where appropriate face covering use is enforced and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • Attending a small outdoor sports event where appropriate face covering use is enforced and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • Participating in an in person 5K where appropriate face covering use is enforced and people can remain more than 6 feet apart - Physical crowding increases risk significantly.

THANKSGIVING - High Risk Activities

  • Indoor Group Activities 
    • Large dinners, parties, in person football watch parties
      • Especially with those from outside of your household or local community
    • Shopping in crowded stores
  • Outdoor Activities where physical distance cannot be maintained 
    • Hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household where face coverings are worn
    • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race including 5k races if physical distance and masking cannot be maintained
  • Traveling to visit other communities
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

THANKSGIVING - Reducing Risk

Hosting/Attending Dinner

  • Order food from a local restaurant to minimize time spent in a small kitchen together
  • Assign dishes to be brought "ready to eat" or have a "head chef" to minimize time spent sharing a small kitchen. 
  • Assign a Server to serve all foods so you don't share utensils
  • Space - bigger is better.  Eat in the largest area you can (outdoors is preferable) with the best airflow or ventilation
  • Limit the amount of time spent in close contact
  • Encourage anyone feeling sick to stay home
  • Wear masks when not eating
  • Use a few smaller tables spaced apart instead of crowding around one large table
Travel:
  • Quarantine for 14 days prior to and after travel
  • Explore options for testing prior to and after travel (most effective when use in combination with quarantine)
  • Utilize local hotels instead of staying together in a house

Simple steps at home.  Taking precautions within your home will reduce the spread of COVID-19 among your friends and family.
  • Wear masks whenever not eating
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical space whenever possible
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Sanitize shared area and high touch surfaces often (bathrooms, kitchens, household door handles)
  • If someone becomes sick isolate them in a bedroom or move them to a hotel where they can isolate and limit contact with others
  • Sit 6 feet or further apart and wear masks if watching TV together

Mental Health and the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people.  COVID-19 may have increased people’s feelings of isolation and disconnection from others.   



Here are some ways you can help:


Check in with neighbors, friends and family
Deliver food to their porch
Invite them for a virtual activity.
Invite them for an outdoor activity where you can mask and maintain 6 feet physical distance.
Help them connect with Mental Health Services.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

TRAVEL

Many people plan their vacations around the holidays so they can visit loved ones. This year, staying home is the safest way to avoid exposing yourself and others to infection. If you must travel, follow these tips: 

  • While it’s a good idea to get a COVID-19 test before you go anywhere, know that a negative test result does not mean you have a free pass. Some tests produce a high percentage of false negatives, so even if you test negative, please follow stringent safety protocols if you travel.
  • If you must travel during the holidays, the safest way to do so is to travel by car and only with people you live with. 
  • Traveling by air, train or bus exposes everyone to a higher risk of infection. Crowded airports, bus and train stations do not allow for physical distancing and increase the duration of exposure to anyone who might be sick.
  • Traveling by car with friends or family who you don’t live with raises infection risk for all passengers due to proximity and duration of exposure.
  • Limit your exposure to people you don’t live with for 14 days before visiting older adults or family members who are at higher risk of infection. 
  • Get your flu shot at least two weeks prior to travel.
  • Wear an approved face covering in crowded areas including airports, airplanes, buses or trains.
  • If you are expecting guests, and it is financially feasible, encourage them to use a local hotel for accommodations. This significantly reduces the amount of time spent in close quarters.
  • If possible, explore outdoor areas or larger spaces for your get together. More distance means less possibility of transmission.
  • Do not use communal food options, like chip bowls or veggies and dip, but rather offer single serving options.
  • Encourage guests to wash hands frequently and make sure hand sanitizer is available.
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces, such as countertops, door handles, and armrests before guests arrive, during the event and after guests leave.
  • Have masks on hand for any individual who may have forgotten to bring one.
  • Avoid hugs, hand shaking, and close contact.
  • After returning home, quarantine for 14 days and limit your exposure to anyone you don’t live with.
  • Stay home when sick and avoid others.
  • Wear a face covering around at-risk family members and anyone who doesn’t live with you.
  •  Physically distance from at-risk family and anyone who doesn't live with you.

COVID-19 Information -

Find updates and information in English and Español

www.lanecounty.org/coronavirus