At Hudson Regional Hospital, we love the holidays and look forward every year to spending time with our own friends and families. But this year, please remember that the circumstances are a little different. Large, indoor gatherings with those outside of your household can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy & safe.
There are plenty of online meeting and phone video platforms that allow you to connect with friends and family from all over the world. Prepare your holiday meal, or deliver it prior without person-to-person contact, and enjoy family time virtually!
Plan for smaller holiday gatherings
Specific guidelines for the recommended number of guests at gatherings may vary by state or area. For indoor gatherings, you should be celebrating with the members of your household only. Consider hosting an outdoor gathering instead, but limit the guest list to no more than three family households.
Ask your guests to take early precautions
Attendees should quarantine prior to the holiday, preferably for 14 days. This means not leaving the house except for medical care, and if they do need to leave their home, they need to wear masks, practice social distancing, and make sure everyone they are interacting with is wearing masks as well. Everyone attending should be following the same set of protocols; trust and honesty are crucial during this time.
Reduce the time you spend together
Gatherings that last longer ultimately pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes greatly increases the risk of becoming sick. Limit the duration of gatherings to 2 hours maximum.
Wear masks during downtime
The more safety measures in place, such as mask wearing, the less risk of spreading COVID-19 or the flu. Guests should wear masks when not eating or drinking.
Don’t share serving utensils or other items
If the host is supplying the meal, avoid self-serve options and the passing of serving dishes and utensils. Designate a “food server,” who, while wearing a mask and washing hands, prepares each plate and delivers it to each guest.