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If You Gather - A Safety Checklist

Nov 11, 2020
If you decide to gather, there’s always a risk of spreading COVID-19 infection. Help lessen this risk through pre-planning, conversations and some trade-offs.

Before You Gather

 Have “the conversation.”

Get really clear with friends and family about how you will make safety a priority when spending time together. Set some ground rules that will help everyone know what to expect. Visit for a sample conversation guide.

 Review your guest list.

Are there people who may be in a high risk category or children? Think about special needs and precautions as part of your planning. Limit your guests to as few as possible.

 Check your space and gather outside if possible.

Is there room to spread out, at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with? If outside, will there be restrooms people can use? If inside, be sure your space is well ventilated by opening windows. Remind guests to bring warm clothes!

 Do a health check.

Ask if anyone has had symptoms such as cough, fever or shortness of breath, in the last 2 weeks.

 Consider the children.

Kids have trouble playing 6 feet apart, so wearing masks and frequent hand-washing may be the safest plan of action.

 Make a food plan.

Talk through details like how food will be shared. The safest option is to have everyone bring their own food. If sharing, separate food ahead of time into individual servings and forgo communal bowls and utensils.

 Clean, clean, clean.
If you’re hosting, frequently disinfect surfaces that people may encounter during their visit.

While You Gather

 Wash hands early and often.

 Gather outdoors if at all possible. If indoors, open windows to increase ventilation.

 Mask up.

 Separate servings.

 Avoid communal food and sharing utensils.

 Avoid close contact.

Smiles and air hugs only, and prepare kids ahead of time to do the same.

After You Gather

 Wash hands (again).

Wash for 20 seconds with soap and water.

 Sanitize.

Clean all surfaces that may have been touched by guests such as tabletops, counters, doorknobs and bathroom fixtures, with soap and water first, and then a disinfecting agent.

 Watch for symptoms.

Alert others at the gathering if there’s a positive test among anyone in attendance. Learn more about what to do if you’ve been exposed.

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