Celebrate the Holidays Safely

Take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Every gathering, every shopping trip, and every travel plan increases the chances of spreading the virus. This is not the time to be hosting any large gatherings. Even smaller indoor gatherings can be especially risky because they bring together groups of people, young and old, from different households, who may not all be adhering to the same infection prevention measures.

Avoid holiday travel and limit physical contact with people who do not live with you. If you choose to travel or gather with people who live outside of your household, please follow these recommendations:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 three to four days before traveling or attending gatherings.
  • Do not host or attend an event if you’re sick, have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, are waiting on COVID-19 test results, or have been told to isolate or quarantine by a health care professional or health department.
  • Consider asking all guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the event.

Keep gatherings small.

  • No gathering should be larger than 10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Remember the virus can be spread in smaller gatherings as well.
  • Arrange areas so people from different households can stay distant (at least 6 feet apart) and plan activities where social distancing can be maintained.

Host your gathering outdoors.

  • If that’s not possible, make sure the room is well-ventilated by opening windows and doors.
  • Limit physical contact. No handshaking or hugs. Wave or verbally greet each other instead.

Limit the number of people handling or serving food.

  • If serving food, have one person serve all food so that multiple people are not handling serving utensils. Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. Use disposable utensils and dishes.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as door handles, sink handles, and bathroom surfaces.

Remember, the individual decisions we make this holiday season won’t just affect the people closest to us, they will also impact our communities.

For more information or assistance, please visit www.nc.gov/covid19

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