Fairfax County Releases Guidelines for a Safe Thanksgiving

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, the Fairfax County Health Department released a set of guidelines with information on how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely. 

The county emphasized that it’s still vital to work to slow the spread of COVID-19 and that, despite the cold months and inevitable pandemic fatigue, community members should not let their guards down now. 

According to the guidelines, high-risk activities include:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
  • Participating in or watching a crowded race
  • Attending crowded parades
  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household 

Moderate-risk activities include:

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends in your community
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching produce, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people can maintain social distancing
  • Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Lower risk activities include:

  • Having a small dinner with people who live in your household
  • Having virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
  • Preparing recipes for family and neighbors and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Shopping online the day after Thanksgiving, as opposed to in-person
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

The county advised against participating in any in-person activities if you or anyone in your household has, or are showing, symptoms of COVID-19 and reiterated that traveling increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

The health department suggests following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations on holiday gatherings to further lower risk. 

Photo via Fairfax County Emergency Information

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