Stay Safe and Celebrate

Gathering Safely with Family and Friends

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Follow guidelines and social distance to celebrate safely.

Guidelines to Minimize Exposure

The least exposure comes from avoiding get-togethers with large groups of people from other households, including family and friends. If you are going to host or socialize with people outside of your household, below are some simple strategies to reduce potential exposure.

Please follow basic Public Health recommendations to reduce your risk and plan activities to minimize potential exposure:

  • Limit the number of different households coming together.
  • Encourage family and friends to wear masks in crowded indoor settings.
  • Insist family and friends stay home if they’re sick, exposed, awaiting a test result or still recovering.
  • Wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face.
  • Keep it outside for better air flow and more space.
  • Spread out better when sitting together.
  • Ensure bathrooms have liquid soap and disposable towels.

Shared food and drinks increase chance of exposure

  • Avoid buffet setups, that cause people to gather closely.
  • Each household should have a separate food/drink table with their own serving spoons and disposable plates, cutlery, napkins and cups.
  • Avoid finger foods and shared drink containers, like pitchers and ice buckets. Individual drink cans and bottles are best.
  • Drinking alcohol reduces your attention to following these guidelines, so drink responsibly.

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

This Independence Day we are more dependent than ever on each other to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

People who are fully vaccinated must navigate decision-making in a world where the vaccinated and unvaccinated will coexist. Outdoor activities and visits are safer than those indoors, but fully vaccinated people can participate in most indoor activities without much risk.

You should continue to practice prevention strategies:

  • Wear a well-fitted mask in crowded indoor spaces.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Wash your hands.

You can find more safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additional Resources

Download a printable graphic with tips on how to stay safe during your Fourth of July celebrations.

Labor Day

Labor Day

Guidelines to Minimize Exposure over the Labor Day Weekend

To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others during the Labor Day weekend, get vaccinated as soon as you can and wear a mask indoors in public.

View CDC guidance for details on choosing safer activities for activities, gatherings & holidays.


We are a go for a spooktacular Halloween 2021. Continue to celebrate safely by safe social distancing and hygiene skills.

The CDC recommends that all adults and children aged 12 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine, but many trick-or-treaters aren’t eligible to get vaccinated yet. To help you enjoy a sweet and safe Halloween, remember to:

  • track local transmission rates
  • take precautions like wearing a mask and washing your hands
  • avoid activities that put you and the children around you at increased risk for COVID-19

Alternative Activities

Alternative Activities

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit while sprucing up your patio.
  • Hang a piñata in your backyard for your children.
  • Plan an outdoor costume parade but keep everyone six feet apart.
  • Have a spooky movie night with your household.
  • On Halloween day, use healthy food alternatives at home like veggies and fruits vs. candy.
    • Make Boo Bananas, Clementine Jack O’ Lanterns and Vampire Apple Wedges using healthy ingredients.

Planning to Trick-or-Treat

Maintain social distance while trick or treating.

If you should decide to trick-or-treat, we encourage you to wear a mask, social distance, and sanitize often.

  • Do not go trick-or-treating if you are sick.
  • Make sure you and your children are wearing masks that protect you from COVID-19 when going out to trick-or-treat, especially if they are not vaccinated.
  • Maintain distance between other groups.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and use frequently.
  • Avoid going inside other homes.
  • Wait until you get home to enjoy your treats!
    • Only eat packaged treats.
  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds when you return home.

Handing Out Treats

Maintain social distance when handing out treats.

  • Don’t hand out candy if you or someone in your household is feeling sick.
  • When preparing goodie bags, be sure to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after.

Adult Halloween Activities

Adult Halloween Activities

  • Don’t go out if you are feeling sick.
  • Wear an effective mask especially indoors at crowded parties and not just a Halloween mask.
  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol. These will impair your inhibitions and decision-making abilities including increased risk of injury and violence.

Stay Safe

Make the decision that is best for you and your family. Just like you would check the weather on Halloween, check this website for updates and current risk levels.

  • Mask up and wash hands before and after trick-or-treating.
  • If planning to visit a pumpkin patch, sanitize before and after touching pumpkins.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not hand out candy.

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

Honor those we've lost and keep those we have safe. Celebrate Día de los Muertos by participating in low risk activities.

Lower risk

  • Prepare favorite recipes of the deceased at home with members of your household.
  • Play music at home.
  • Create an altar for the deceased at your home.
  • Make and decorate masks.
  • Hold online virtual celebrations with friends and family.

Medium risk

  • Have a small, outdoor group get-together with social distancing.
  • Visit and decorate graves with household members only while social distancing from other groups in the cemetery.
  • Host a small dinner party with local friends and family with social distancing.

High risk (AVOID)

  • Participating in large indoor celebrations with singing and dancing.
  • Going to crowded celebrations in a cemetery. 

2021 Día de los Muertos Events

Día de los Muertos (Muertos Fest) at Hemisfair: October 23 – 24
Free, two-day festival which merges traditional elements with a multi-stage lineup of live bands, dance and poetry performances.
Walking Tour of Cemetery #3: October 29
Hosted by the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum to honor the lives of local African American historic icons buried there.
Day of the Dead San Antonio: October 29 – 30
Two-part celebration with a River Parade that includes more than 20 decorated floats and entertainment barges and a Culinary Ofrenda, a new food festival that takes place La Villita’s Juarez Plaza honoring San Antonio’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation.
4th Annual Día de los Muertos: Celebrando las Misiones: October 30
Hosted by the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office. Begins at Mission San José’s Granary with altars on display, educational workshops and blessing. A dance and drum procession will then lead the audience to Mission Marquee Plaza where all can contribute to the community altar.
Día de los Muertos at Historic Market Square: October 30 - 31
Includes free children's activities, altars to honor the departed and a lively procession.
Outdoor Community Altar / Ofrenda Exhibit: November 1 – 8
Hosted by the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center. A community initiative to encourage residents of the Westside to build altars in their front yards. The Esperanza will also host a large altar near the Rinconcito de Esperanza to honor community members, including victims of Covid-19.
La Vida de los Muertos: November 2
Presented by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Held on the Guadalupe campus and features performances by the Guadalupe Dance Company, Guadalupe Dance Academy and Mariachi Guadalupe.
Altares y Ofrendas Dia de los Muertos Exhibit and Celebration: November 2 – 8
Hosted by Centro Cultural Aztlan since 1977. As part of its Cultural Expressions series, the exhibit will be both in-person and virtual, illustrating the artistic, cultural and religious facets of popular traditions where death is seen as a natural part of life and this reality is approached with humor and a celebration of life.
SAY Sí’s Muertitos Fest 2021: Artes Curativas: November 2
Pays homage to native and indigenous traditions of healing and hold space for self in connection with nature. This year’s event will feature artisan vendors, lively entertainment, educational workshops, an exhibition of student and visiting artists and more.
Carnaval de los Muertos: November 2
URBAN-15 Group’s special performance at Elmendorf Lake Park that features a magical spectacle of motion, imagery, sound and color. Dancers in their costumes of embedded lights and with glowing banners personalized with photos, proceed in an illuminated procession that evokes floating spirits passing through San Antonio.

Fall & Winter Holidays

With the holidays around the corner, we are reminded of the desire to celebrate and gather with our families. Below are a few recommendations based on the risk level.

Safe Holiday Gathering Tips

A family eating Thanksgiving dinner.
It's safer to eat together when everyone is fully vaccinated.
  • The best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and celebrate a safer Holiday with your family and friends is to get vaccinated.
  • Enjoy your Holiday meal in an outdoor or well-ventilated area. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you are waiting for your test results, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • It is recommended that everyone wear a mask in crowded public indoor settings around people who may be unvaccinated, regardless of your vaccination status.

Anytime you are near people you don’t live with:

  • Wear a mask when not eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Stay six feet apart from others.
  • Consider if those around you may be higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions and take extra precautions.

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Tips for a Safe Holiday

Precauciones Para Las Fiestas Navideñas (español)


Healthy Alternative Activities

Healthy Alternatives

  • Staying at home and enjoying a homemade meal.
  • Taking a walk, run, or hike outdoors while practicing physical distance from those not in your household.
  • Watching a televised event from the comfort of your living room.
  • Donating canned goods and non-perishable items to your local food bank.

Lower risk: Staying at home

Lower Risk Activities

Limit traveling and instead stay at home with only those who live in your household is the lowest risk.

  • Have a small dinner with individual meals instead of a family-style spread or order-in to support local businesses.
  • Host a virtual dinner and share family recipes.
  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds before and after preparing food.
  • If you want to shop for the Holidays, consider ordering online or using curbside pickup and avoiding large crowds.

Moderate risk: Hosting/Attending a small dinner

Moderate Risk Activities

  • If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, do not host or attend a gathering.
  • Keep the number of people gathering at your home to just those within your social bubble.
    • Enjoying your company and eating outdoors is safest
    • Immediate family or those within your social bubble are ideal to host
    • Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas often
    • Have plenty of hand sanitizer available

Higher Risk Activities

High Risk Activities

Attending a large gathering

You should wear a mask in crowded gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Shopping in crowded stores.
  • Attending a large family gathering with multiple people from outside your household or outside your social bubble in an indoor location.
    • Avoid buffet line and have a few people serve
    • Eat outside
    • Wear masks. Ask everyone to wear a mask when gathering indoors and when outdoors if social distancing isn’t possible. Is there a creative crafter in the group? Maybe they could sew fun, holiday-themed masks for kids (2 years and older) and adults.
    • Arrange tables and chairs to accommodate social distancing. Group people from the same household together at smaller tables set 6 feet apart.
    • Avoid close contact. No matter how happy people are to see each other, discourage hugs and handshakes. Verbal hellos, bowing and waving are all OK.
    • Hold a series of small gatherings. If your big family typically gets together on one day, could smaller groups get together over the course of several days?
    • Have a video celebration. Instead of gathering for dinner in person, gather virtually using a video chat app. Does someone in the family have a super-secret holiday recipe? Ask them to reveal it in advance this year so everyone can make it and enjoy it together virtually.

Traveling out of town

  • If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, stay home, and do not travel out of town.
  • Wear a mask in public settings like public and mass transportation.
  • Avoid close contact by staying six feet apart from anyone who is not from your household, or mask at all times unless eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.