Thanksgiving is just around the corner. If you’re cooking and hosting a dinner, you might be wondering what steps to take to keep everybody safe from COVID-19. In this post, we are sharing some helpful information from the BCCDC website around hosting a safer social gathering.
Stick to your small social group
First of all, keep gatherings local and small (here’s a guide for safer social interactions) this Thanksgiving holiday. If you can celebrate outside on a heated patio, that is a safe option but be mindful of safety around outdoor heaters and open fires, particularly with kids. If you’re hosting inside, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that your guests don’t have any symptoms
- Stay in larger rooms for more spacious visit, open windows if you can
- Limit your time indoors together (i.e. host a dessert only gathering)
- Consider the impacts that alcohol and substance use can have on maintaining physical distancing
- If you need to pass someone in a hallway/stairs, try to pass them quickly or wait until they’re gone
- Switch your greetings to elbow bumps or waves
- Keep music low to reduce the need for loud talking or shouting
- Make sure you have a place for guests to wash their hands
Considerations for food prep and serving
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread from eating food prepared by others. However, you should avoid making food for others if you feel sick or are positive for COVID-19 or are self-isolating. Use good hygiene practices when cooking and remember to wash your hands. Here are some tips if you’re serving a meal:
- Ask guests to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before a meal
- Consider having only one person plate meals instead of having a buffet service
- If serving “family style” encourage people to serve themselves with their own clean cutlery
- For shared snacks, hors d’oeuvres, candy, nuts or finger foods, provide guests with utensils, plates and napkins so they can have their own servings
- Seat guests as far apart as possible, consider assigning seats based on household or social groups
- Discourage guests from sharing anything that has been in their mouth, such as drinks
Have a happy & safe Thanksgiving weekend!
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Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.