Celebrate Safely: Thanksgiving
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to gather around the dinner table with only people in your household. Or, pull up extended family members and other loved ones via Zoom or a phone call. This allows families to share a meal together without putting anyone’s health at risk.
Although, Lancaster County’s current Direct Health Measures prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, or 25% building capacity, Health Director Pat Lopez clarified that households are exempt from this. However, families are still encouraged to limit any Thanksgiving gatherings this year.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also distributed a press release urging Nebraskans “to adapt their holiday plans in light of the ongoing pandemic.”
DHHS recommends even shopping online for your Thanksgiving meal essentials instead of going to the store in-person.
But, if you will be celebrating in-person with individuals you do not live with, or would like to take extra precautions, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following.
- If possible, have the meal outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Wear a mask when not eating.
- Remain socially distant with at least 6 ft in between people who do not live together.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared.
- Use single-use options when possible (ex: individually packaged salad dressing, plastic utensils).
- Clean and disinfect surfaces between uses.
- Self-isolate for 14 days before and after your gathering.
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If you plan on traveling this Thanksgiving, keep in mind that it will increase your risk of contraction and/or spreading the virus. So, extra precautions should be taken to protect yourself and those you are traveling with.
- Double-check travel restrictions before you go, both for the airline/travel agency and the location as some states have closed their borders to travelers.
- Get your flu shot.
- Wear a mask in public settings.
- Keep up social distancing.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies (ex: masks, sanitizer, your own prepackaged snacks).
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Other activities you can participate in is watching Thanksgiving parades and holiday movies at home. Or, if you would like to interact with those outside your household in a fun way, schedule some online games. If you have a gaming console, look to see if online gaming is an option, or find an online website like Kahoot or JackBox Games.
If you’d like to give back to your neighborhood, safely prepare traditional dishes, and deliver them to community members in a contactless way (ex: leave it on their porch).
For more information about safely celebrating Thanksgiving, check out the CDC’s guidelines here.