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Thanksgiving COVID-19 advice: How do you stay safe during dinner?

Doctors offer simple advice for staying safe during the holiday season

A man roller skates as the Thanksgiving Day holiday approaches.
A man roller skates on the Franklin Street overpass as motorists sit in heavy traffic southbound on Interstate 25 as the Thanksgiving Day holiday approaches on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Denver.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

The holidays are here again, and COVID-19 is still present in our country. So how do you stay safe and avoid possibly spreading the virus to others?

Doctors across the country are offering advice to people looking to stay safe from the coronavirus, as well as for those who want to protect others from the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Know vaccination statuses before you meet

Dr. Avantika Waring, an endocrinology physician at Kaiser Permanente Washington, told KOMO News that it’s important to know who will be at your dinner and their vaccination status.

  • “It’s really important to have conversations ahead of time about people’s vaccination status, which might be something that you haven’t had to do before at a holiday gathering in the past. It’s going to be important to understand who you’ll be having your dinner with,” Waring said.

Consider gathering outside

You may want to consider eating outside or having windows open so that fresh air can move throughout the room, Waring told KOMO.

  • “Not everybody is vaccinated, and so we really need to think about whether we might be putting others in the community at risk. Again if you have folks who maybe haven’t been fully vaccinated, but are still high risk, the virus is still spreading in our communities. It’s not gone,” said Waring.

Think about who might be at severe risk

Per Gizmodo, you’ll want to consider who might be at severe risk at your Thanksgiving dinner. Anyone who might be at severe risk for COVID-19 might need or warrant some extra precautions. So it might require you to wear a mask.

  • “These are the people who are most likely to have a severe complication from COVID, even if they’re vaccinated,” Dr. Céline Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at New York University and Bellevue Hospital, told Science Friday. “They are at higher risk for a breakthrough infection that can progress on to severe COVID.”