This information reviewed by Carrie Horn, MD, Shannon Kasperbauer, MD, and infection preventionist Rosine Angbanzan, MPH (October 2020).
Holiday celebrations this year will need to place health and safety over some traditions because of how easily the coronavirus spreads, and how dangerous it can be for some people. The safest celebrations will be with your immediate family in your own home.
An important first step in making holiday plans is to check your local COVID-19 transmission rate. If COVID-19 cases have increased in your community, the risk of the virus being transmitted to you has also increased. Stay updated and follow public health guidelines regarding Stay-at-Home and Safer-at-Home orders.
The safest way to celebrate this holiday season is to stay home with the family members who live with you. Staying home protects you from getting exposed to viruses at holiday gatherings. Staying home also prevents you from sharing germs with other people, especially those in high-risk groups. Many traditions can be shared virtually via FaceTime or Zoom. Here are some ideas:
Small gatherings outdoors that are appropriately distanced, have limited contact with commonly touched surfaces and limited number of people handling and serving food have some risk for exposure to COVID-19. Here are some suggestions for reducing that risk:
Large indoor gatherings, even with close family, is not recommended. Even just talking can increase the risk of spreading the virus. If you feel like you must attend a large family gathering, consider the following ways to protect everyone.
Avoid attending large public gatherings, especially those indoors, because they substantially increase your risk of catching many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
Learn more about COVID-19 and how it affects specific health conditions in these printable patient education materials.
Download COVID-19 Materials