Holiday Safety

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The 2020 Holiday Season will look different for many this year. Although this has been a stressful and challenging year for many, there are ways that families and friends can safely gather and celebrate. 

This page will provide some resources and tips for the holidays to reduce your risks of COVID, as well as general safety tips for the season. 

Holiday safety tips from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

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Updated CDC Guidance

Travel

Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.

If you are considering traveling, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.

  • Are you, someone in your household, or someone you will be visiting at increased risk for getting very sick from COVID-19?
  • Are cases high or increasing in your community or your destination? Check CDC’s COVID Data Tracker for the latest number of cases.
  • Are hospitals in your community or your destination overwhelmed with patients who have COVID-19? To find out, check state and local public health department websites.
  • Does your home or destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers? Check state and local requirements before you travel.
  • During the 14 days before your travel, have you or those you are visiting had close contact with people they don’t live with?
  • Do your plans include traveling by bus, train, or air which might make staying 6 feet apart difficult?
  • Are you traveling with people who don’t live with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should consider making other plans, such as hosting a virtual gathering or delaying your travel.

It’s important to talk with the people you live with and your family and friends about the risks of traveling for the holidays.

If you do travel

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Everyone Can Make the Holidays Safer

Wear a mask

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  • 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 away from others who do not live with you

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Wash your hands

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  • 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. 


Hosting a Gathering

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Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this holiday season.

If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make the holidays safer. These steps include:

  • 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 of 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

Holidays and Stress

This Holiday Season Do What’s Best for You and Your Loved Ones

Take Care of Yourself

  • Being away from family and friends during the holidays can be hard.
  • When you talk with your friends and family about plans, it’s okay if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others.
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Do What’s Best for Your Household

  • Doing what’s best for you includes eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
  • Take care of your body and stay active to lessen fatigue, anxiety, and sadness.
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Spend Time with Those in Your Household

  • Hard choices to be apart this year may mean that you can spend many more years with your loved ones.
  • Do what is best for your health and the health of your loved ones. This year spend time with those in your own household.
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The holidays are also a time for other hazards. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has created a great holiday safety page with a variety of factsheets, activities and videos.

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The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. 
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away. 
  •  Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns. 
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags. 
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children. 
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child. 
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet. 
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle. 
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button

Resources are also available in multiple languages: click here to visit: 

https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Teaching-tools/Safety-tip-sheets/Safety-tip-sheets-in-other-languages