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Ideas and Guidelines for Safely Celebrating This Thanksgiving

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued guidelines urging all residents to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19, including safety precautions for holiday celebrations. While Thanksgiving traditions may look different this year, there are still ways for families and friends to celebrate safely and connect with loved ones.

On Thursday, November 19, the State of California issued a limited Stay at Home Order requiring that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier, which includes Los Angeles County. The order will be effective 10 PM Saturday, November 21, through 5 AM December 21. Additionally, restaurants, breweries, wineries, bars, and all other non-essential retail establishments must close from 10 PM to 6 AM by order of the County of Los Angeles Health Officer, and starting Wednesday, November 25, in-person dining in the County has been suspended for three weeks.

The public health department identifies private gatherings as a major driver of the current spike in COVID-19 cases. During private gatherings, you may unknowingly be exposed or expose others to the virus – even if everyone in attendance is asymptomatic or has recently tested negative for COVID-19. Due to the long incubation period for the virus, you may carry COVID-19 without feeling ill or showing signs; therefore, it is critical to follow all guidelines, including physical distancing and using face coverings during small gatherings.

If you plan or participate in Thanksgiving gatherings within the parameters of the order, make sure your plans are in compliance with other safety guidelines for keeping yourself and others safe:

  • Re-think your holiday plans and cancel any plans for travel outside the region in the coming weeks. Public transit is a high-risk environment for exposure to COVID-19. If you do travel out of state or receive visitors from out of state, please note that a mandatory 14-day quarantine is in place per the State's travel advisory.

  • If you are celebrating Thanksgiving with others who are not members of your household, make plans to celebrate outdoors with a maximum of two other households. If you need to be indoors, this can only happen with members of your immediate household. This is particularly important since people will need to remove their face coverings while eating and drinking.

  • Do you have increased health risk, or live with or visit others who are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications? If so, you should avoid gatherings.

  • Are you not feeling well – headache, feeling a bit off? It may be mild COVID-19 symptoms and you should stay home to protect others. 

While it is unsafe to gather with members of other households in the traditional indoor Thanksgiving dining setting, there are still ways to come together and spend time with loved ones during the holiday. Sharing a meal over video conferencing is a great way to safely connect. Contact-free food dropoff is another option for sharing a Thanksgiving meal. Be sure to wash hands before and after preparing, serving and cooking food. Wearing a face covering while preparing and serving food lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Beyond adapting holiday plans to the current environment, additional measures are needed to avoid viral COVID-19 transmission. The County recommends the following measures given the recent increase in confirmed cases:

  • Stay home as much as possible for the next month except for accessing essential services. This is especially important for people who are older and people with serious underlying health conditions. When possible, try to use delivery services for groceries and medicines. If this isn’t possible, assign one person from your household to take care of errands and shopping.

  • If you live with people who are older or have serious health conditions, wear a mask and keep your distance both indoors and outdoors as much as possible. Higher risk household members should try when possible to eat by themselves and avoid being in close contact with people who have a high risk of being exposed to the virus at their jobs or in the community.

  • If you or a close contact has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the Public Health Orders for home isolation or quarantine.

  • If you have engaged in risky activities where you may have been exposed to COVID-19 because you were in a crowd with people who weren’t wearing masks and distancing, please self-quarantine for 14 days.

The City of Duarte wishes all members of our community a safe, healthy and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you for doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Your sacrifices make a huge difference.

About the City of Duarte

The City of Duarte was incorporated on August 22, 1957. Guided by integrity and transparency, the City provides exemplary public services in a caring and fiscally responsible manner with a commitment to our community’s future. For more information visit the City’s website or call (626) 357-7931.  Follow the City of Duarte on Facebook; Twitter; Instagram and LinkedIn.