With the spike in cases, more attention is being given to hosting gatherings, like holiday get togethers, Thanksgiving, etc. 

Here are tips for hosting a family or other gathering at your home, courtesy of our Health Unit: 

  • Remind guests to stay home if sick. Consider keeping a list of guests who attend for potential future COVID-19 contact tracing needs.

  • When entertaining, consider physical distancing in determining the number of people to invite to your home. Limit the number of guests to a manageable number that allows people to safely maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance, especially if they are outside your social circle/household. While Ontario currently puts a limit on 50 people for indoor gatherings and 100 guests for outdoor events, these numbers may be too high for a comfortable gathering at your home.

  • Be upfront with your guests about the COVID-19 prevention measures you’re taking so they know what to expect before they arrive.

  • When possible, host your gathering outdoors. In colder weather months, go indoors but try to ensure the room or space is well-ventilated (e.g. open a window).

  • Arrange tables and chairs in advance to allow for physical distancing (if already set up, guests may be reluctant to move them).

  • People from the same household or social circles can be grouped/seated together, but should be 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other families.

  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact between those outside households or social circles.

  • Encourage guests to wear masks when physical distancing is difficult. Consider providing masks for guests or ask them to bring their own.

  • Ensure there is enough soap and hand sanitizer for people to use during the gathering.

  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.

  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.

  • Limit the number of people handling or serving food (including limiting access to where food is being prepared, such as the kitchen).

  • Avoid buffet-style meals. If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils

  • Limit contact with high-touch surfaces or shared items. If possible, clean and disinfect these surfaces and shared items between uses.

  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g. seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.

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