Factbox: Holiday Dos and Don’ts of a COVID-19 Thanksgiving | Top News

Eufemia Didonato

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that with the rapidly increasing number of coronavirus cases, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to postpone travel and celebrate with the people who live at home with you.

If you plan to travel by bus, train or plane in circumstances that might make staying 6 feet (2 meters) apart difficult – or are traveling with people who do not live with you – the CDC urges considering making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.

* Check travel restrictions before you go.

* Get your flu shot before you travel.

* Always wear a mask in public settings, when using public transportation, and when around people who do not live with you. Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

* Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart from anyone who does not live with you. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Remember that people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19 or flu.

* Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

* Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose and mouth.

* Travel with extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.

* Know when to delay your travel.

If you choose to attend a Thanksgiving gathering, take these additional steps:

* Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils.

* Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.

* Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.

* Make available single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice. If you are having guests to your home, these are steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer:

* Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.

* Limit the number of guests.

* Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.

* Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.

* If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.

* Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.

* Have guests bring their own food and drink.

* If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.

ALTERNATIVE THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES

* Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who do not live with you.

* Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.

* Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing or other dishes they prepared.

* Watch television and play games with people in your household.

* Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports and movies at home.

* Find a fun game to play.

* Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).

* Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down what things make you feel grateful and sharing with friends and family.

* Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.

* Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.

* Shop in open-air markets staying 6 feet away from others and wear a mask.

(Editing by Howard Goller and Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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