5. How the CDC Explains Households and Their Safest Holiday Plan
The CDC recommends that people celebrate the holidays together either virtually or only with the members of their own household as the best way to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. “Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment),” the CDC states.
This means that college students returning from school, and others you don’t live with full-time, would be considered members of different households. “In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.”
4. The Risks of Getting Together This Year
According to the CDC, the health risks of catching and spreading COVID-19 this year can go up depending on factors that can differ from household to household. Those factors could include:
- COVID case levels in certain areas are significantly higher. If members of various households come together in an area with high infection rates, your chances of catching and spreading the virus go up.
- Travel to any area can lead to virus exposure from airports, bus and train stations, public restrooms, and gas stations along the way.
- Attendee precautions used (or not used) prior to and during the holiday gathering.
3. Household Gatherings Duration and Size
Two more factors that could raise the risk of COVID spread at the holidays are how long you gather and how many people are with you. The CDC says the longer the gathering, the higher the risk. “Being within six feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.”
Even if a holiday gathering is very small, the CDC encourages all “attendees from different households” to wear masks, stay at least six feet apart, and practice regular hand washing while together.