SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Department of Health and Human Services and the American Medical Response are offering tips for Springfield families to safely celebrate a healthy, fun, and safe Thanksgiving.
Health officials on Thursday said as the city continues to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19, all residents must abide by all public health and safety guidelines to help lower the spread and keep everyone safe.
“The more of these precautions you follow, the safer your gathering will be,” the city’s health officials said. “However, the safest measure is always to limit your gathering to just members of your immediate household.”
Below are some tips from HHS and AMR for planning a fun and safe holiday celebration:
- Host a Household Celebration: Rather than inviting guests to your home this holiday, opt to just celebrate Thanksgiving with members of your immediate household.
- Gather Virtually: In-person gatherings with family or friends from different households pose a big risk. Instead, host a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebration digitally.
If you do decide to have guests you are urged to follow the new orders and measures announced by Governor Baker. Health officials recommend the following:
- Wearing a Mask: Keep your mask on when you are not eating or drinking and try to socially distance
- Evaluate the Risk: If you have someone living in your home that is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19, you should reconsider hosting a gathering.
- Limit the Number of Attendees: Governor Baker has issued a new gatherings order which limits the indoor gatherings at private residences to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. By keeping your guest list small, you allow people to maintain 6ft of social distance.
- Opt for Outdoors: If the weather permits, host your celebration outdoors and ask guests to observe social distancing and mask use guidelines. Again, the new state outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
- Increase Ventilation: If you must host guests in your home, open the windows and doors or place central air and heating systems on continuous circulation.
- Discourage Direct Contact and Encourage Handwashing: Guests should be discouraged from shaking hands or hugging and encouraged to practice frequent handwashing or hand sanitization.
- Limit the Sharing of Utensils: Avoid sharing from the same plate or cup. Encourage your guests to bring their own food and drinks for members of their household. If you do decide to serve dinner, have one person be the designated server so that multiple people are not handling serving utensils.