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  • Writer's pictureCT Parent Magazine

Safely Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is known for long lines in crowded airports and traffic jams on highways, but this year it may look a little different. As COVID cases continue to rise across the country, the CDC has updated its guidelines for you to have a safe Thanksgiving holiday celebration. Suggestions include hosting a virtual Thanksgiving dinner, preparing and delivering dishes, and hosting an outdoor meal with family and friends.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, according to the CDC, is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer: wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash hands, and avoid touching your face.

If you are attending a Thanksgiving gathering, keep these CDC recommendations in mind:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils.

  • Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.

  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.

  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates and utensils.

If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving gathering, keep these CDC recommendations in mind:

  • Have a small outdoor gathering with family and friends who live in your community.

  • Limit the number of guests.

  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.

  • If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.

  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.

  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.

  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.

Traveling this Thanksgiving

Staying home is the safest plan, however, if you do plan to travel, check travel restrictions and get your flu shot before you go. Also remember the familiar rules: wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash hands, and avoid touching your face.

Other Thanksgiving Activities

  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you. For Thanksgiving Day, Zoom will lift its 40-minute time limit for free meetings.

  • Watch television (like the virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) and play games with people in your household.

  • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays, or use contactless services, like curbside pick-up.

  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).

  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.

Here in Connecticut, Governor Lamont recently introduced the COVID Alert CT app – a voluntary exposure notification app – that notifies you if you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested, and reduce the potential exposure to others. More info can be found at

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