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CDC Guidelines for 2020 Holiday Gatherings

Nov 5, 2020

Holiday Gatherings-187038156 600x400To help people plan for their upcoming fall and winter holiday celebrations, the CDC is offering guidelines to help individuals reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and protect themselves, as well as their families, friends and communities, as COVID case continue to rise across the U.S.

These recommendations should supplement (not replace) any state and local health and safety laws and regulations gatherings must comply with.

Several factors contribute to the risk of becoming infected or infecting others with coronavirus during the holiday season, and work together to create varying amounts of risk. Therefore, they should be considered individually and together:

  • Community levels of COVID-19. Higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread in the gathering location, as well as where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees.

  • Indoor vs outdoor. Indoor gatherings pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.

  • The duration of the gathering. The longer the gathering, the higher the rise.

  • The number of people. Gatherings with more people pose more risk. While the CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings, in general, the size of a gathering should be determined based on people’s ability to limit contact and social distance.

  • Where attendees are traveling from. Gatherings with attendees who are traveling from different places pose a higher risk than gatherings with attendees who live in the same area.

  • Attendees’ behavior prior to the gathering. Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who practicing these preventative behaviors.

  • Attendees’ behavior during the gathering. Gatherings with preventive measures in place pose less risk than those with few or none in place.

For additional guidelines on attending in-person holiday gatherings, including who shouldn’t attend, visit the CDC’s Holiday Celebrations website.