Page 19 - Scene Magazine 45-11 November 2020
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  or utensils that have the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread. Remember, it is always im- portant to follow good hygiene to reduce the risk of illness from other common foodborne germs as well. Suggestions to reduce risk include:
• Instead of potluck-style gatherings, encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only.
• Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible. Or reduce added stress by catering your holiday meal.
• Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
• Consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
• Use single-use options or identify one person to serve shareable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.
• If you choose to use any items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers,
tablecloths, linen napkins), wash and disinfect them after the event.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and wa- ter are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% al- cohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Follow up with lotion to keep hands from getting chapped from repeated washing.
While visiting with others take steps
to avoid close contact and be particularly mindful in areas where it may be harder to maintain an appropriate distance. Furthermore, you may want to give up the traditional hug, hand shake, or fist pump, and replace it with a wave or verbal greet- ing instead. Plan for the moment that may put you in the vicinity of people who don’t live in your household and be prepared with a mask. In fact, a mask can be valuable if singing, chanting, and shouting are part of your celebration. I’ll admit it, I’m often shouting at the TV during the football game.
Realistically, if you are at increased risk
of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live
in your household or you are in regular contact with.
Be considerate of others and do not host or participate in any in-person festivi- ties if you or anyone in your household:
• Has been diagnosed with COVID-19
and has not met the criteria for when it
is safe to be around others.
• Has symptoms of COVID-19.
• Is waiting for COVID-19 viral test
• May have been exposed to someone
with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
• Are at increased risk for severe illness.
With a little forethought, you can
still enjoy your holiday get-togethers by incorporating some risk reduction tactics into the celebration. Maybe you can even have a mask decorating contest. And by all means stay informed and up to date with coronavirus information so you can enjoy a full, safe holiday season.
State of Michigan Coronavirus Website:
CDC COVID-19 Holiday Guidance: coping/holidays.html
 Individuals with increased risks need to take extra care as they make decisions on how to attend holiday events this year.

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