21 tips to safely hosting gatherings or barbecues
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its long-awaited tips for minimizing everyday risks of getting and spreading COVID-19, including tips for hosting gatherings or barbecues.
In general, the CDC says, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Read about the 15 questions to ask yourself before venturing out during the COVID-19 pandemic here.
These are the CDC’s 21 tips to safely hosting gatherings or barbecues:
1. Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
2. Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
3. When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.
4. Wear cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors. Still need a cloth face covering? Learn to make one here.
5. Consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.
6. Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
7. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
8. Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.
9. Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
10. If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
11. If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.
12. Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.
13. Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
14. Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
15. If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
16. Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
17. Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
18. Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
19. Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
20. Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
21. Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.