Celebrating the Holidays in a Big, but Smaller, Way

November 20, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people, and  “COVID fatigue” has set in.  Gatherings during the upcoming holidays offer an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends.  To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone healthy and safe, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) developed this guidance for holiday gatherings.

Guidance for Gatherings

  • 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 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 (see below).
  • The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear maskswash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Hosts should consider the following:
    • Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times.
    • Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

Organizers and attendees of holiday events can get more tips and tools at CDC’s Considerations for Events and Gatherings.

Travel Suggestions

  • Community levels of COVID-19: Family and friends should consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when deciding whether to host or attend a gathering. Information on the number of cases in an area can often be found on the local health department website.
  • Exposure during travel: Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
  • Location of the gathering: Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for example, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.

The more of these prevention measures that you put in place, the safer your gathering will be. No one measure is enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

thread encourages all of Alaska’s families to work together to ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable holiday season.

For the full list of CDC suggestions on holiday gatherings, click here.