This year we can finally gather around to celebrate our fall holidays, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Native American Heritage Day. It doesn’t even have to be virtual.
Thanks to Oregon’s high adult vaccination rate, above 80%, we can more safely gather around our dining room tables with friends and family this holiday season, and that’s something we can all be thankful for. But, with the highly transmittable Delta variant, holiday gatherings do take a bit of planning and caution.
“This year, I’m grateful to each and every Oregonian who is doing their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by getting their vaccines, their boosters, wearing their masks, and staying home when sick,” said Governor Brown in recent remarks. “I want to extend a huge thank you to the amazing health care workers and behavioral health care workers during this holiday season. We appreciate your efforts to take care of Oregonians, especially during the holidays, when your duties may be drawing you away from your own families. And, I also want to thank our Oregon National Guard members who have spent time away from their homes and families to serve in our hospitals and long-term care facilities.”
For many of us, this holiday season—like last year’s— will again involve not only excitement, and memory making, but also perhaps some choices about how to celebrate safely with our friends and family. Here are a few tips to help make celebrating the holidays safe this year.
Tips for hosting a festive and safe Holiday gathering
- Host your party outdoors, weather permitting, in a space that allows for guests to stay six feet apart.
- Wear face coverings if you are within six feet of others.
- (But remember it’s not safe for children younger than two to wear a mask.)
- Keep the guest list small and stick with vaccinated guests.
- It’s safest to avoid crowding the food table so that guests can maintain distance from other people.
- Wash your hands before and after eating
- Get everyone 5 and older vaccinated.
- COVID-19 vaccines were recently approved for those aged 5-11 for more information, visit Oregon Health Authority here.
- Consider getting your COVID-19 booster shot
- If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
- Always get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19. – Visit Oregon Health Authority here for information on COVID-19 tests in Oregon.
If you are traveling for the holidays, please check out the CDC’s safe travel recommendations. In case guests go inside, be prepared in advance by opening windows and running a fan or air purifier to maximize ventilation. Remind guests that when they are indoors to keep on their masks and physically distance. For more tips on safely gathering and celebrating the holidays this season, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here.
Finally, in the spirit of the holidays, Governor Brown encourages those who are able to donate whatever time or money you can to the Oregon Food Bank, or to any of the other amazing service organizations that help our vulnerable neighbors. Visit the Oregon Food Bank here to get involved!