A small outdoor dinner with neighbors and attending small outdoor sporting events with safety measures taken into account are considered moderate risk activities. But attending crowded parades or large indoor gatherings with people outside your household are considered higher-risk activities.
For families who wish to gather in person, experts say there are steps you can take to help keep everyone safe.
Utilize outdoor spaces
“Outdoors, those infectious particles are more likely to get dispersed before others can breathe them in,” CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said to the news outlet.
Pamina Gorbach, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles told HuffPost chairs should be placed six feet apart, preferably outdoors, and that people from the same households should be seated together.
Have air filters indoors
Vox.com reported that for indoor gatherings, ventilation should be considered.
Open the windows and use a fan to drain old air from the area and bring in a fresh breeze and possibly run a HEPA air purifier, as the Washington Post reported director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and his wife plan to do if the weather is too cold.
Avoid family-style serving
Rather than having a buffet or other method of getting food that will require multiple hands to be in shared pots, leading Mayo Clinic trained physician Dr. Bita Nasseri and her husband, Dr. Shawn Nasseri, told “Good Morning America” that people should assign an individual to serve food. The couple suggests the server should wear gloves and a face mask to limit any possible exposures.
“This is a good year to not use silverware, maybe you can use plastic forks and plates. Have fun with it and limit exposure that way,” Bita Nasseri said.
Although the Food and Drug Administration says there currently no evidence indicating that COVID-19 can be spread through food, Bita Nasseri said “as far as dry, plastic surfaces it has been proven that the virus can transmit up to 72-hours.”