Tips for Holiday Gatherings

November 23, 2021


COVID cases are surging in our area and in many parts of the United States right now, as people begin to gather indoors again during these cooler months. Fortunately, unlike last year we now have COVID vaccines that have reduced the need for isolation and allowed us to participate in family gatherings again. COVID vaccines are very effective at reducing severe illness and hospitalization. However, it is still possible to contract COVID after you have been vaccinated, especially if it has been more than six months since you have received your series of Pfizer or Moderna or two months after you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Consider the following as you enjoy the company of your loved ones this holiday season:

  • Encourage unvaccinated loved ones to get vaccinated if they are able to. Now children between 5 and 11 are eligible for Pfizer vaccines!
  • Get your booster if it has been greater than six months since your Pfizer or Moderna or greater than 2 months since your Johnson & Johnson.
  • Wear your mask, even if you are vaccinated, if you are in public places.
  • Rapid COVID tests can be purchased at places like CVS and Rite Aid. Consider having everyone do a rapid COVID test before gathering. 
  • Remind guests to stay home if they have any COVID symptoms or have had an exposure to COVID within the last 14 days.
  • Open a window! And, to maximize ventilation, place a fan as close as possible to an open window blowing outside.
  • Have guests sanitize their hands when they enter and have hand sanitizer available on tables and other high touch areas.
  • Have disposable paper towels for guests in the bathrooms. Put away your hand towels until after your gathering.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched areas such as light switches, doorknobs, and remote controls.
  • Arrange seating to encourage social distancing if possible both while dining and while doing things like watching TV together.
  • It’s best for everyone to mask up if any guests are immunocompromised, unvaccinated, or at risk for severe illness from COVID. Although most people respond well to the COVID vaccine, immunocompromised individuals may not develop as strong of an immunity as healthy people do. 

Food Handling at Holiday Gatherings:

  • Limit contact with serving utensils by having only one person serve food.
  • Use disposable plates, napkins and utensils.
  • Provide single servings of condiments when possible to prevent many hands touching the same items.
  • Keep hand sanitizer on the table!

Enjoy the time with your loved ones but remember that COVID has not gone away. There are many small things we can do that can make a difference and ensure a safe gathering! By keeping yourself safe, you keep our residents, staff, and each  other  safe.

The JAA thanks you for helping stop the spread of COVID.

Happy Holidays!