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10 Small Gathering Safety Tips

Thursday, October 15, 2020 1:13 PM

By: Lauren McRae

Small social gatherings are places where COVID-19 can quickly spread. Also, as we start thinking ahead to special
holidays and family get-togethers, here are some tips to help small social gatherings greatly reduce the propensity for spread during this time of the pandemic. Small holiday gatherings must be planned with great care in order to be as safe as possible. 

For in-person small gatherings, let your guests know ahead of time what you will be doing and your
expectations for creating safe in-person holiday/social gatherings in your home.

The following guidelines are offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health

  1. Travel with care to avoid exposure during two weeks prior to a small holiday gathering. 
  2. Remind guests to stay home if they are sick: If they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms they should stay home and monitor their health. 
  3. You should get your flu-shot prior to visiting friends and family during the flu season. Influenza activity begins in the month of October and often peaks in the winter months so the time to get your flu shot is now.
  4. Encourage social distancing: Gather outdoors if weather permits, as much as is reasonably possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
  5. Wear masks: When less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors. Consider providing masks for guests or asking them to bring their own. Indoor gatherings should include guests wearing face coverings, except to eat and drink.
  6. Wash your hands often (for at least 20 seconds).
  7. Consider placing hand sanitizer throughout the house as well as disinfectant/wipes
  8. Seating: Measure seating spaces and table space to ensure that households are 6 feet apart, this will determine the capacity that will be safe for your family and friends. Consider sharing your seating chart with guests in advance.
  9. Limit the number of people handling or serving food. Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks. Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible. Identify one person to serve all of the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  10. Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items. If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean and sanitize them after the event. 

Click the image below for an infographic on small gathering safety!