COVID Safety During the Holidays

It’s that time of year when the focus turns to the traditional holiday turkey, traveling plans and spending time with family.

Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, travel is considered risky this year.  Public health experts are advising people not to take part in large holiday gatherings or travel. Georgia is currently at a critical position with more than 4,500 new cases reported.

Macon-Bibb County Health Department and its community partners pass out face masks and COVID-19 information during a drive-thru holiday event held Thursday. (Courtesy Macon-Bibb County Health Department)

Virtual Thanksgiving dinners are among the recommended suggestions for this holiday year.

Whether or not people will follow this advice is unknown. Local public health officials are making sure the community has the knowledge necessary to have a safe and healthy holiday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as health officials are encouraging people to choose to stay home for the holidays and celebrate with immediate family. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, and the Flu virus. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. 

However, if traveling is necessary, the CDC recommends a check list of tips. 

  • People are advised to check travel restrictions ahead of time
  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain 6 feet apart from people not in your household 
  • Bring extra supplies like masks and hand sanitizer. 
  • The CDC also advises people to take the flu shot as doctors have reported high influenza cases. 
  • When attending a Thanksgiving gathering, the CDC suggests you bring your own food, drinks, even disposable items like: plates, cups and utensils. 
  • Mask wearing is imperative, but properly storing the mask while eating is also important.  
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.

Likewise, if hosting a family gathering it’s recommended that disposable utensils, plates, etc are used. It’s also suggested that an outdoor event with family and friends is planned. If not outside, in a place with open windows, and or large enough where social distancing of six feet is possible. Also limit the number of guests invited.

Do not forget to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use, and make regular hand washing an expectation. 

Currently, Georgia has seen more than 9,000 deaths directly related to COVID-19.

For more information on health department services and events, call 478-745-0411 or visit