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Celebrating Thanksgiving More Safely during COVID-19

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The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in Alabama and other states, so it is our responsibility to help slow the spread by focusing on safety when making Thanksgiving plans.

“Unfortunately, most Thanksgiving activities like eating and talking are usually done indoors and without masks,” says Ellen Eaton, assistant professor in the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases. “They are a perfect environment to spread COVID-19 across multiple attendees.” 

Here are a few tips for celebrating more safely:

  • Scale down the size of your Thanksgiving gathering by limiting it to those in your immediate household. Host your meal outdoors, if possible.

  • Stay at least six feet away from people outside of your immediate household. Some who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread the virus.

  • Avoid buffet-style serving to limit the sharing of serving utensils. Designate one or two people to plate the food.

  • Sanitize high-touch areas such as countertops, doorknobs, tabletops, and serving areas. 

  • Wear your mask over your nose and mouth in public places and around those outside of your immediate household. Store your mask away safely while eating and drinking.

  • Use proper hand hygiene and wash your hands before, during, and after events. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your car, purse, or backpack for times when soap and water may be inaccessible.

  • Steer clear of large crowds when shopping in person by using curbside pickup service or shopping online.

  • If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, cancel all activities and gatherings and seek medical attention as needed.

The year 2020 has been one of adjusting and adapting. Thanksgiving Day may not look the same as before – but it doesn’t have to. Consider starting new traditions, and get creative with the ways you give thanks and share this time with friends and family, whether near or far.

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