Here’s How to Make Your Thanksgiving Safe in 2020, According to the CDC

Here's a closer look at how to host Thanksgiving safely.

Almost nothing in 2020 is the same as years past, at least where holidays are concerned. Halloween is going to be totally different thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fourth of July was definitely scaled back—you name it, the celebrations have been modified to fit our socially distanced world. So, it follows that hosting Thanksgiving would have to change, too.

The CDC recently released guidelines for what Turkey Day celebrations should look like. The guidelines explain what activities are low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. Read through ’em below.

What Activities Are Low-Risk?

Low-risk activities include having a small in-person dinner with just the people in your household, hosting a virtual party with family members, taking food over to neighbors (by leaving food at their door), tuning into traditional events like football and parades from home and not heading out to Black Friday sales.

What Activities Are Medium- or High-Risk?

You’ll want to exercise a little extra caution with medium-risk activities; these include having an outdoor dinner with friends or neighbors, visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where hand sanitizer is available and masks are worn or attending outdoor sporting events that follow safety protocols.

The CDC says you’ll want to avoid going to crowded stores on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. This is OK, because plenty of stores are closed on the holiday, or they’re offering their deals early and/or virtually this year. You’ll also want to steer clear of crowded “Turkey Trot” races or parades, consuming anything that’d substantially impair your judgement or going to gatherings with lots of people, especially those outside your household.

How Should I Plan My Holiday?

We’re taking the CDC’s recommendations into consideration when planning our gatherings this year. Thanksgiving can still be a time of togetherness—we just have to come together in an unusually distanced world. Since this year is already pretty nontraditional, consider experimenting with unique decorating styles or an unexpected menu for Thanksgiving. And of course, be sure you and your family are staying safe by washing your hands and wearing masks as necessary.

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes for Four
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Emily Hannemann
Emily adores both food and writing, so combining those passions as a writer for Taste of Home makes perfect sense. Her work has also appeared in Birds & Blooms and on TV Insider. When she’s not eating peanut butter straight from the jar, you'll find her running or birdwatching. Emily is currently a journalism graduate student at the University of Missouri.