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Celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year

November 13, 2020 – News

Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19. With COVID-19 cases on the rise around Alaska and small household gatherings contributing to the increase, the City and Borough of Juneau urges community members to only celebrate Thanksgiving inside with people in your household, and seek creative ways to connect virtually or safely with others. Here are some ideas:

  • Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
  • Enjoy a neighborhood walk or hike with extended family or friends while keeping a safe distance. Wear a mask if you can’t stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Similar to what’s been done for birthdays, weddings, and family reunions, make Thanksgiving dinner virtual.

Please heed the guidance of Governor Mike Dunleavy this holiday season and do what you can to reduce the spread of COVID-19: “This year, I’m asking that you consider celebrating differently… I’m asking you to reach deep for the next three weeks. If we can buy time for our critical workers, if we can keep our systems operational, we can avoid being forced to take further action.” The governor issued an emergency alert yesterday on the escalating spread of COVID-19.

If you do plan to attend a gathering outside your home, bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils; wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking; avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen; and use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets. Keep in mind – gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people.

Travel also increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you do travel, check travel restrictions before you go, always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation, stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.

Refer to these webpages by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more Thanksgiving ideas and guidance: Celebrating Thanksgiving and Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings.