CDC continues to recommend avoiding large events and gatherings. Here is an infographic with helpful tips for enjoying holiday traditions while protecting your loved ones.
· Avoid large events and gatherings, when possible
· Consider the level of risk when deciding to host an event
· Promote healthy behaviors and maintain healthy environments to reduce risk when large events and gatherings are held
· Be prepared if someone gets sick during or after the event
Currently, CDC does not provide numbers to define small and large events.
Small gatherings are informal in nature and may occur with family and friends you regularly socialize with, often at someone’s residence. They typically do not involve long distance travel. Small gathering guidance might be more appropriate for social gatherings that are more intimate with close friends and family, such as small holiday parties, family dinners, and special celebrations.
Large gatherings bring together many people from multiple households in a private or public space. Large gatherings are often planned events with a large number of guests and invitations. They sometimes involve lodging, event staff, security, tickets, and long-distance travel. Large events might be events such as conferences, trade shows, sporting events, festivals, concerts, or large weddings and parties.
Risk Factors to Consider
Several factors can contribute to the likelihood of attendees getting and spreading COVID-19 at large and small events. In combination, the following factors will create higher or lower amounts of risk:
· Number of COVID-19 cases in the community — High or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases in the event location or the locations the attendees are coming from increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Relevant data can often be found on the local health department website or on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker County View.
· Exposure during travel — Airports, airplanes, bus stations, buses, train stations, trains, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places where physical distancing may be challenging, and ventilation may be poor.
· Setting of the event — Indoor events, especially in places with poor ventilation, pose more risk than outdoor events.
· Length of the event — Events that last longer pose more risk than shorter events. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more (over a 24-hour period) greatly increases the risk of becoming infected and requires quarantine.
· Number and crowding of people at the event — Events with more people increase the likelihood of being exposed. The size of the event should be determined based on whether attendees from different households can stay at least 6 feet (2 arm lengths). Physical distancing at events can reduce transmission risk—for example, blocking off seats or modifying room layouts.
· Behavior of attendees during an event— Events where people engage in behaviors such as interacting with others from outside their own household, singing, shouting, not maintaining physical distancing, or not wearing masks consistently and correctly, can increase risk
Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone or cancel large events and gatherings, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for events. If organizers are unable to put safety measures in place during large events and gatherings, they may choose instead to host a virtual event.
Note: People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
Safer Ways to Gather and Celebrate Holidays
Gathering and holiday traditions are important, and there are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect everyone’s health. Gathering virtually is the safest choice. If there is an in-person gathering, the best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep everyone safer is to get vaccinated.
· Gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor gatherings.
· Ensure well-fitting masks over the nose and mouth are worn in public indoor settings if all attendees are not fully vaccinated.
· Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
· Ensure enough space for attendees to stay at least 6 feet apart.
· Know public safety measures in place at the venue.
· Check with the organizer or event venue for updated information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
· If invitees are sick or have symptoms, they should not attend a gathering.
If traveling for a gathering, visit CDC’s Travel page to help attendees decide what is best for them. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
· If attendees are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.
· If traveling in a group with unvaccinated people, choose safer travel options.
· Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation and follow international travel recommendations.