Celebrate holidays with health, safety in mind

            It’s tough to think about all the parties, family gatherings, church services and shopping mall trips you might have to skip this holiday season as you and your family keep yourselves safe and socially distant.

            But health experts say you don’t have to spend the happiest time of the year alone.

            Here are some ideas for celebrating safely this holiday season:

  • If your family is hosting Christmas dinner this year, consider cooking and eating outdoors if the weather is mild.
  • For indoor gatherings, limit the guest list to family and friends you trust are taking every precaution to prevent themselves from being exposed to coronavirus. Also:
  • Exclude anyone you don’t already know from your holiday party or dinner.
  • Keep it small.
  • Insist that everyone wear a mask except while eating.
  • Spread out the seating so people who do not live together sit six feet apart.
  • Place hand sanitizer on the dining room table, in each bathroom, near the front door and in the kitchen.
  • Increase ventilation by cracking windows and doors. It’s not the most energy-efficient solution, but it’s temporary while the party is going on.
  • Skip the sing-along this year. Singing has been proven to spread the virus quickly.
  • Disinfect surfaces in the house that are likely to be touched by many people—like in kitchens and bathrooms. Leave some sanitizing wipes in bathrooms and ask each guest to wipe down surfaces after each use. 
  • Encourage hand-washing during the event.
  • Ask each guest to take extra precautions for two weeks before the event.
  • Keep guests out of the kitchen to limit who handles food and touches surfaces where you’re preparing dinner.
  • Serve each guest yourself, wearing a mask. Don’t set up a buffet or self-service food or drink stations.