Page 18 - Scene Magazine 45-11 November 2020
P. 18

The holidays may look a little different this year because of the current COVID-19 situation but it doesn’t mean that we have to miss out on being together. Whether you can safely get together or you decide that virtual is the way to go, time spent planning can make the difference in creating one of the most memorable and meaningful holiday experiences.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) provided new guidance on October 9, in an Emergency Epidemic Order, which urges Michigan- ders to consider hosting virtual festivities instead of in-person holiday gatherings
if there is a risk of community spread based on the risk identified in the MI Safe Start map. The map can be found at the State of Michigan Coronavirus Website at
“Celebrating the holiday season with family and friends is one of our most cherished traditions,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Even though the way we celebrate may have to be different, the guidance issued shows there are still many ways to spend quality time with family and friends safely during this festive season.”
There are several factors that con- tribute to the risk of infection regarding
COVID-19 at a holiday celebration, or any gathering. In combination, risk factors may increase, so it is important to con- sider them individually and together. Here are some tips provided by MDHHS so you can get the most out of your holiday gatherings and reduce the risk of spread- ing COVID-19.
Review the MI Safe Start map before you have gatherings to know the level
of viral spread in your community and the communities where your guests may be travelling from. If there is community spread, refrain from hosting or attending a holiday gathering outside your regular contacts. Consider a virtual gathering using online options instead.
When opting for an in-person gather- ing you can reduce risk by making a few adjustments to your traditional holiday celebration such as planning a shorter get-together than traditional, limiting guests to reduce the number of contacts for spreading the virus, and providing addition- al preventative measures, such as masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. If this will not work for you, then maybe cre- ating a virtual celebration with games and storytelling will offer less risk for loved ones.
If you are moving forward with your family celebration, don’t forget to
consider an outdoor event if the weather will allow for it. Lets face it, however, the weather here will most likely urge gather- ings to remain indoors. Increase ventila- tion by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather. Consider these additional tips for hosting gatherings:
• Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
• Limit numbers of attendees that are not already sharing time together.
• Provide updated information to your guests about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Provide or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues.
In addition to family and friends, food
and beverages will most likely be part
of the celebration. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spread- ing COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging,
this Holiday

   16   17   18   19   20