Gov. Gina Raimondo continues to urge people to consider COVID-19 when planning their Thanksgiving. Rising coronavirus cases in Rhode Island are a definite cause for alarm, especially since we’re spending more time indoors due to the colder weather.
Luckily, preventing the spread of the virus at Thanksgiving is very similar to what you should be doing now. Don’t be tempted to throw caution to the wind now. Here’s what Raimondo and health authorities recommend to keep you safe this Thanksgiving.
Keep It Small
If you do decide to host an in-person celebration this Thanksgiving, keep the group small, but preferably with just household members.
If you will have a larger group, separate them into smaller groups and distribute them in various areas of the house. If you can eat outside, that’s even better.
Limit Potential Exposures Before & After Event
If you are hosting people from outside your household, ensure everyone limits their potential exposure before and after the event. The 14 days leading up to and after Thanksgiving is the time span when virus transmission is most possible.
You should always social distance, sanitize your hands, and wear a mask, but this is critical when contacting people outside of your household bubble.
If someone is traveling from an area with a high transmission rate, they should reconsider. You can check the NPR heat map for real-time information.
Even if the area seems within safe limits, travelers should check with the appropriate official state websites before they commit to travel. Otherwise, they may face unexpected restrictions and/or test requirements.
Think Before You Decide to Travel
Celebrating locally is always a better option. If you decide to risk traveling, realize that you are increasing your risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
Driving is probably the safest option, providing you only travel with household members. However, you will need to limit your exposure to others and take proper precautions when you stop along the way. Wear a mask and use hand sanitizer at restaurants, gas stations, and public restrooms.
Airlines are using increased sanitation procedures and enforcing mask wearing, however risk remains high at airports. Masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing should always be maintained in crowded public spaces. Better yet, celebrate at home.
Other Suggestions for a Safe Thanksgiving
- Limit gatherings to 2 hours or less
- Limit gatherings to no more than 3 households, preferably less, and no more than 10 people
- Ask visitors to sanitize their hands when they enter your home
- Insist visitors were masks, except when eating and drinking
- Maintain social distance indoors and outdoors
- Make hand sanitizer and disposable towels available in the bathroom
- Increase ventilation and air flow
- Skip buffet meals
- Consider paper plates and eco-friendly disposable silverware
- Assign one person to serving the meals
- Conduct a virtual dinner with friends and loved ones that live elsewhere
- Prepare dinner for elderly or immune-compromised persons and make no-contact deliveries to their home
- Shop online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
Now is not the time to let down your guard. Follow these tips and enjoy a fun, safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones!