LAGUNA-NIGUEL, CA — It won’t be long before Thanksgiving is here, marking the unofficial start of the holiday season in Laguna Niguel and Dana Point. And while the holidays are a favorite time of year for most, celebrations will likely look different this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released specific guidance on what and what not to do when celebrating Thanksgiving this year.
While it may be tempting to enjoy traditions as usual, the safest thing you can do, the CDC says, is celebrate at home with people who are part of your immediate household.
A week before the holiday, the CDC issued updated guidance recommending no travel this Thanksgiving. The new guidelines, according to the CDC's website, say that "postponing planned travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.” It also offers a list of questions Americans should ask themselves before making a trip.
However, Americans are still likely to travel. If so, here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of contracting the coronavirus or the flu:
Hosting a celebration
Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live nearby.
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 uses.
If celebrating indoors, make sure to 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, such as plastic utensils.
Attending a celebration
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 the kitchen.
Use single-use dinnerware and other items, such as salad dressing and condiment packets.
If you're traveling
Check travel restrictions before you go.
Get your flu shot before you travel.
Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose and mouth.
Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
Other Safety Precautions
Wear a mask, making sure it's over the nose and under the chin.
Stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live with you.
You can still celebrate Thanksgiving even if it’s not in person, the CDC says. Some ideas include hosting a virtual Thanksgiving Day meal with family and friends; watching Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home; and shopping Black Friday sales online rather than in-store.