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Can you safely gather with people outside your household?

Can you safely gather with people outside your household?

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Even if you do stay in a hotel or rental home, chances are good that you'll want to gather with other households to celebrate the holiday season.

Schaffner has been to relatives' homes during the pandemic and they've been to his, but they've stayed far apart and worn masks and only stayed together for a couple of hours, he says.

Food is served, but they sit at the far ends of the dining room table and take their masks off only to eat and drink.

"It is prudent to keep the mask on during a family gathering, especially if indoors and you (or others) have risk factors for severe illness," Wu said.

Small, outdoor, socially distanced gatherings are safest. If you gather inside, choose an open, well-ventilated space.

"Large groups, especially if coming from different households or geographic locations, could increase the risk of infection," Wu said.

The very safest option? "Get a small turkey and stay at home," Schaffner says.


Joining hands around a crowded holiday table is best skipped this year.

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