Questions you might have about Holiday Gatherings
General Questions and Considerations
Why is it important to be cautious over the holidays? I’ll only be around my family members who I trust.
Connecticut has been a national leader in our COVID-19 response efforts. However, as the country heads into winter, flu season, and into holiday gatherings – the risk of spreading COVID-19 has become higher, and even Connecticut is seeing a spike in cases.
Several factors contribute to the holidays being a high-risk time to spread the virus, including:
- Traveling to communities with high concentration of COVID-19 cases;
- Gathering (indoors or outdoors) with friends and family outside of your local area;
- Participating in larger, longer gatherings;
- Traveling for long periods of time in enclosed spaces like buses or airplanes; and,
- Risky behavior like not wearing masks, or not social distancing around family members and close friends.
No matter how you celebrate – it’s critical to make a plan to ensure that you keep yourself, and your family as safe as possible.
What’s the best way to stay safe over the holiday season?
The best way to ensure your family gatherings are safe is to have your holiday gatherings virtually. But, if you have to travel, and visit family and friends for the holiday – follow some basic public health safety precautions.
Is there a limit on how many people I should have at a holiday gathering?
Phase 2.1 (effective 11/6) limits private gatherings both indoors and outdoors to 10 people. This is to ensure that you, and your loved ones are as safe as possible this holiday season. Remember, even with a small gathering size, you should still make sure you wear a mask, keep a distance, wash your hands, and avoid leaving your home all together if you feel sick.
I have to host a holiday event – how can I do it safely?
If you are hosting a holiday event that includes people outside your household, consider:
- Conduct pre-party screening:Screen guests and ask them if they feel sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Ask your guests to stay home if they feel sick.
- Limit attendance:Fewer attendees will lower the risk of spreading virus.
- Invite only local attendees:Guests from other regions, especially areas with high COVID-19 cases, can pose increased risks.
- Use outdoor spaces:Hold activities, especially meals, outdoors if you can. If this is not possible, use an indoor space that is well ventilated and allows for physical distancing. If a gathering is being held indoors, opening windows and doors or use of portable air cleaners can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Have personal protective equipment (PPE) available:Provide masks, hand sanitizer, and tissues for guests who have not brought their own.
- Use disposable items:Single use plates, utensils, and to-go containers may limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Ask for self-imposed pre-holiday social distancing:Consider asking guests to adhere to safety principles by avoiding contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering to lower risks of virus spread.
- Share safety guidelines:Provide up-to-date COVID-19 safety information to guests and share all measures you have taken to limit risks.