DPH Shares CDC Guidance To Minimize Risk Of COVID Spread During Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is less than a week away, but Halloween parties are seen as a likely contributor to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Delaware.

Delaware Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said Thursday that the highest rate of increase is among children ages 5 to 17.

“We want to get ahead of things and prevent another holiday surge,” Rattay said.

DPH is sharing CDC recommendations about the upcoming holiday.

-Testing for COVID-19 is recommended if celebrating with people from multiple households and from different parts of the country.

-Smaller gatherings make it more possible to socially distance from guests who are not vaccinated.

-And, face masks are recommended at indoor public places for unvaccinated people, including children who are two and older.

The CDC suggests if it’s mild enough, consider some outdoor activities.

Additional information was provided by Delaware Public Health:

Vaccination continues to be the strongest recommendation to protect yourself from COVID-19, and the biggest action you can take toward participating in a safe holiday gathering. This includes getting your first dose of the vaccine if you have not already done so, your second dose, (or third dose if you are immunocompromised), or booster dose.  Eligibility for a booster dose of the vaccine is expected to be expanded on Friday, Nov. 19, and DPH encourages individuals to monitor local news channels and de.gov/boosters for updated information.

Getting children, especially those ages 5 –11 who are newly eligible for the vaccine, vaccinated with their first dose prior to the Thanksgiving holiday is a good way to ensure they are protected. Full vaccination using the pediatric dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was found to be more than 90 percent protective against developing symptomatic COVID-19. No severe vaccine-related side effects or severe allergic reactions were identified during clinical trials. 

Here’s are other tips for having a safe Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 before celebrating with a people from multiple households and different parts of the country. 
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or had close contact with someone who has it, stay home.  Do not host or attend a gathering.
  • Smaller gatherings are better than larger gatherings to enable you to social distance from those who are not vaccinated. Those who are unvaccinated should get tested prior to Thanksgiving to ensure they are negative for COVID-19.
  • Wear a face mask. Unvaccinated family members, including children ages 2 years and older, should wear a mask in all indoor public settings.  People with a weakened immune system, who are at increased risk for severe disease, should also mask up. 
  • Communicate COVID-19 ground rules to invited guests, including expectations around testing before or after gathering, vaccination or masking requirements.
  • Gather outdoors when possible. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. Getting together for a holiday walk, flag football game, picnic, or virtual cocktails are fun alternatives to an indoor sit-down meal. 

The Public Health Communications Collaborative provides tips in a simple recipe card format that is available for downloading in flyer form and social media format: https://publichealthcollaborative.org/resources/toolkit-thanksgiving-2021-safety-tips/