Advice For Thanksgiving Gatherings: Stay Home, Eat Outside, Wear A Mask

Though celebrating the holiday with those with whom you live is the safest option, an infectious disease expert says you can reduce your COVID-19 risk with these precautions.

By Kristen Cabrera & Shelly BrisbinNovember 23, 2020 6:58 am,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to stay at home this Thanksgiving, and celebrate with the people with whom they live. But some will take the calculated risk of choosing to ignore those guidelines. If you do choose to celebrate with others, there are steps you can take to stay safe from COVID-19.

Dr. Jill Weatherhead is an assistant professor of infectious disease at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She says that not traveling is the best way to limit your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

“Celebrating with those living in your household is ideal,” she said. “It’s by far the safest way to protect yourself, your family and your community.” 

Though bringing people from separate households together isn’t free of risk, Weatherhead says there are things you can do to reduce risk:

– Limit your social activities before a holiday gathering: don’t attend other functions before the holiday, especially in indoor restaurants or bars where the transmission risk is greater.

– Have small holiday gatherings, preferably outdoors.

– Even if you haven’t observed a strict quarantine, beginning to do so now reduces the risk presented by a holiday gathering.

– Maintain 6 feet of social distance between yourself and others, especially when indoors.

– Serve meals outdoors if possible, and wear a mask at all times when not eating or drinking.

– If you must travel by air, wear a face shield or goggles to cover your nose throughout the flight, and wash both your hands and the surfaces around your airline seat.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.