DPHSS issues minimum requirements in the celebration of Thanksgiving Day

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The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) provides the following guidance for Thanksgiving gatherings.  As a reminder, congregations or social gatherings of more than five (5) individuals where the individuals are not members of a single household are strictly prohibited (Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-36).

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to limit the gathering to people who live with you in your household.  If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, there can only be a total of 5 persons at the gathering.

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The following guidelines are designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection and help make your celebration safer.

Wear a mask if you have guests in your household

  • Face masks must be worn by all individuals with the exception of children under the age of 2 or anyone who has difficulty breathing or a history of trouble breathing.

  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

  • Store your mask safely away while eating and drinking.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who live outside of your household

  • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19.

  • Keeping 6 feet away from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.

  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Attending a Gathering

In addition, the following preventive measures are recommended:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.

  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.

Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering

If having guests in your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer.  Other steps you can take include:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with no more than 5 people who do not live in your household.

  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.

  • If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows to bring in fresh air.

  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.

  • If sharing food, assign one person to serve food.

  • If self-serve, then have an adequate number of single-use utensils for each person to use for each dish; a receptacle should also be accessible and available to hold all used utensils.

  • Use single-use articles, such as disposable containers, paper plates, and plastic utensils.

Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities

Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you.

  • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.

  • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.

  • Watch movies, sports, or other television shows at home.

  • Find a fun game to play.

  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).

  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.

 

The public is reminded to ensure that all other DPHSS guidance memoranda and minimum requirements must be followed.

For additional questions, please contact the Division of Environmental Health at 300-9579, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit dphss.guam.gov or guamrecovery.com. For inquiries on COVID-19, contact 311 through a local number, or call the Joint Information Center at (671) 478-0208/09/10.

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