The CDC has issued the following guidance for this year's Thanksgiving.
First the CDC guidelines say the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate only with the people you actually live with.
However they also have guidelines if you want to include people who don't live in your household such as extended family, friends, or even some of your neighbors. The most important being that you should hold it outside rather than inside and limit people's access to the interior or your home unless they live there.
Make sure everyone is wearing a two or more layered mask that is properly fitted to their face and covers their nose. The standard in Whittier is at least 3 layers and the nose should be kept covered at all times unless you are outside and at least 7 feet apart. The mask must fit snugly. If you wear glasses and they are fogging up, it means your face mask is not properly fitted to your face.
Maintain at least 6 feet, preferably 7 feet of distance between yourself and others. Remember you can still spread the virus to the vulnerable without being aware that you have it yourself.
Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds every half hour and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you tell your guests to bring their own hand sanitizer.
Make sure attendeeds bring their own food, beverages, utensils, plates, cups, etc.
Limit access to areas where food is in the process of being prepared. It is best if your guests prepare their own food at home before coming to your event so they will not need to access the food prep area. Make sure they bring an ice chest with ice for any drinks they want to keep cold. Speaking of which, have sanitation wipes available so that surfaces can be wiped down before usage.
Use only disposable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.
If you are providing condiments or dressing, the CDC requires that you provide only the single serve versions of those items.
When eating you should be more than 7 feet apart because you will need to remove your mask to do so.
Try to limit guests to family and friends who live in the same community as you do.
The CDC requires you to limit the number of guests you are inviting and allowing over.
Be sure to have thorough planning conversations with your guests at least 5 days in advance of your event so that everyone will be on the same page.
The CDC requires that all surfaces and commonly used items be cleaned and disinfected every 30 to 45 minutes if you are having guests over.
If you still chose to hold your event inside your home or in some other building, the CDC requires that all windows be open and make sure all fans are on and positioned in such a way that it sucks the air up to the ceiling instead of just pushing the air around you making it easier for you to get COVID 19. Also be sure to use an air purification machine. If possible, we recommend using two air purification machines per room. If you don't have one, now is the best time to run down to Target or Walmart to get one. Make sure you advise your family and friends to get one too. Just make sure you have at least one on hand and that it is turned on. They work by sucking in air and filtering it of all particles including virus like the SARS COV 2 virus that causes COVID 19. They are also good eliminating cigarette and marijuana smoke and odors.
If you choose to share food, appoint one and only person to serve the food and use only single use plates and utensils.
In lieu of in person events, CDC says it prefers for people to hold virtual events instead.
Having gotten through the CDC guidelines here are some things that can make your virtual or in person events more interesting.
Encourage attendee to share stories of survival which as reminder is the real reason for Thanksgiving. Have them include some information about at least one ancestor from both their father's and mother's side of their family. Have a reward for those with the best stories.
Have a singing or karaoke contest but require the participants to keep their masks on while singing if in person or behind a barrier
Have a dance contest. If you are doing an in person event, make sure the participants in the contest are at least 10 feet apart.
Host a watch party for a parade or other TV show that people can participate in online.