Assessing Holiday Gatherings During COVID-19

November 17, 2020

With COVID-19 activity rising across New Jersey, there are several things to consider to assess the risk and decide whether a more distant or virtual gathering is the best and safest approach.

  • What is the level of COVID-19 cases and spread in your area? (If your area is experiencing a growing number of cases, large holiday gatherings create a prime opportunity for COVID-19 to spread.)
  • How many people would attend the gathering? (Smaller get-togethers are safer by limiting exposure, and making it easier to socially distance.)
  • Does your guest list include senior citizens or anyone with an underlying health condition? (Both of these groups are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Surrounding them with other people at your gathering puts them at greater risk.)
  • Are the attendees all from the local area or would they come from other areas? (Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in your location, or where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread.)
  • How will attendees travel to the gathering – by car, plane or bus? (Public transportation, or stopping at rest areas, increases exposures and brings that risk to your holiday gathering.)
  • Have the attendees been tested for COVID-19, and will they quarantine from the date of the test until the holiday gathering? (This is a smart practice in identifying a core of close family and friends that want to socialize while protecting everyone.)
  • Is your gathering indoors or outside? How long will it last? (Indoor gatherings bring a greater risk of transmission, and longer exposure to others also increases the risk.)
  • Will all attendees be willing to follow “the rules”? (Personal actions like wearing a mask, hand washing, social distancing and staying home when sick are critical for a responsible holiday gathering.)

If your answers to these questions raise concerns about the ability to keep your friends and family safe, consider other ways to celebrate the holidays this year.

Careful consideration should also be given to additional holidays activities – for example, shopping, choirs and caroling, or visiting Santa at the mall – that may transmit the virus through close proximity, spread of droplets or other risk factors.

Create a Holiday Bubble: 

A “bubble” during COVID-19 is a group of people who commit to safety practices that protect against the spread of the virus, and agree to inter-   act only with bubble members who follow the same precautions. Creating your bubble requires preparation and commitment, that — if followed with discipline — could create a way to gather over the holidays with greater peace of mind.

To learn more, click HERE

Source: New Jersey Hospital Association