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How to gather during the holidays, according to the California Health Department

California offers tips to help people gather safely during the holidays.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas right around the corner, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidelines on gathering indoors during the holidays.

Holidays usually mean gathering with friends and extended family by attending parties and celebrating together. But some holiday activities increase the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

The coronavirus spread in California has risen significantly as the temperatures have lowered, and people begin gathering inside. CDPH offers some tips and guidelines for small gatherings to help minimize the coronavirus spread over the holidays.

The first thing to do is check whether your county allows for indoor gatherings. The state has not prohibited indoor gatherings but recommends a few things for a safer gathering.

Here are some extra tips on how to celebrate the holidays more safely:

  • Keep your distance from each other at gatherings of any kind.
  • Keep windows and doors open so fresh air circulates, and wear a mask when indoors.
  • Wear a mask when around people you do not live with, even if they are family or close friends.
  • Minimize the number of households you are in contact with two other households when gathering indoors.
  • Spread things out; use all the space you can indoors.
  • Don’t share utensils or drinks with anyone.
  • Commit to keeping gatherings short, whether inside or outside.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • People at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 (such as older adults and people with chronic medical conditions) are strongly urged not to attend any gatherings, especially indoor gatherings. 
  • If you gather with older people or those with chronic conditions, make sure they wear a surgical or N95 mask.

The state also recommends people not do unnecessary travel. The CDPH issued travel guidelines, including a recommended quarantine for people who do travel.

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