Guidelines for Safe Family and Friends Gatherings to Minimize Exposure

The least exposure comes from avoiding get-togethers with 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.

Personal and Social Activities Assessment During COVID-19

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.
  • Insist family and friends wear masks and be sure to cover nose and mouth.
  • Keep at least six feet from people outside your household which means no hugging or handshaking.
  • 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. Keep in mind the “Safe Six” and “Mind the Gap”
  • Set up chairs 6 feet apart, and/or create separate seating areas for each household.
  • Ensure bathrooms have liquid soap and disposable towels and always carry your own hand sanitizer.
  • Create separate eating/dining spaces for each household.
  • Avoid games that bring people close together and/or result in shouting or singing.
  • If in public, like an event or at the river or even a swimming pool, family/friends from different households should still maintain 6 feet distance apart.

Shared food and drinks increase chance of exposure.

  • Avoid potluck style and 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.

Reduce your Exposure

Wash your Hands

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Use simple solutions for indoor air in homes(PDF, 137KB) and Coronavirus (COVID-19).

More Ways to Stop the Spread