Thanksgiving: COVID-19 guidelines

Remember as you gather with families and close friends: be thankful for our beautiful fall weather. Stay outside for gatherings as much as possible. Let us celebrate Thanksgiving thoughtfully, cautiously, but with kindness and gratitude for all the freedom we have.

What you need to know about the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from someone who's infected through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when they cough, sneeze, sing or yell;
  • close prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases when:

  • the number of people you’re in contact with increases; and
  • the time you spend in contact with them lengthens.
General guidance
  • Ensure that you’ve read and incorporated the 6 steps to staying safe into your planning as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild. Try to connect remotely.
  • If you become ill while at a Thanksgiving event, you should go home immediately.
  • Maintain physical distancing – keep a minimum of 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who’s not a member of your social bubble.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as handrails, door knobs and door bells.

Remember Yukon’s gathering limits

  • Though your social bubble can include up to 15 people, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. If your guests are part of your social bubble, you do not need to physically distance with them.
  • Indoor social gatherings of people outside your social bubble are also limited to 10 people who must physically distance.
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people with physical distancing.
  • Indoor, organised, seated gatherings are limited to 50 people with physical distancing.
  • Outdoor, organised, seated gatherings are limited to 100 people with physical distancing.
If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving event

Feeling unwell?

  • If you’re feeling unwell, even if your symptoms are minor, cancel your get-together and look at other ways to connect which are not in-person.
  • Remind guests who are not feeling well to stay home and connect virtually instead.

Anyone required to self-isolate?

  • If you’re required to self-isolate, don’t host others.
  • Ask guests who are required to self-isolate to not attend and connect virtually instead.

How to gather safely

  • It’s safest to celebrate with people who are part of your social bubble.
  • Visit in larger rooms where there’s more space for people to sit or stand farther apart.
  • Choose well-ventilated spaces (spaces where there’s lots of fresh air) and open windows if you can.
  • Set your table and chairs for physical distancing if you can between people from different social bubbles.
  • Keep music low to reduce the need for loud talking or shouting.

Cleaning and sanitizing

  • Ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, shared items and dishes.
  • Use the guidance on cleaning in your home for tips on how to do this safely.
  • Have hand sanitizer, hand soap or alcohol wipes available for guests to sanitize their hands.
  • Encourage your guests to use hand sanitizer, soap or alcohol wipes when they arrive and before to eating.

Other tips

  • Consider virtual options like video calls or video-sharing to keep your gathering small, while staying connected with more people.
  • Ask your guests if taking extra precautions would make them feel safer. Do what you can to accommodate them.
  • If you have guests who had to stay home because they were not feeling well, consider delivering a care package or plate of food to their doorstep to help them feel more connected to the group.
Serving food safely

Thanksgiving gatherings usually involve sharing food with friends and family. Consider these tips to keep it as safe as possible:

  • have everyone wash their hands before and after the meal;
  • seat higher-risk guests in places where they can keep more distance from others, while still participate in the fun;
  • limit the number of people handling or serving food;
  • designate a carver and a server to limit sharing germs;
  • serve drinks and food directly to guests rather than having people serve themselves; and
  • avoid sharing items such as glasses, cutlery, gravy boats and saltshakers.  
If you’re planning common activities for children
  • Try to do activities outside as much as possible.
  • Ensure that the children and the organisers can maintain physical distancing.
  • Practise good hand hygiene.
  • If you’re doing crafts, plan for each child to have their own tools (for example: scissors, paint brush, glue stick, colouring pencils, markers, carving knife).
  • If craft tools are shared, disinfect them between users.
  • Plan crafts where fewer tools are needed, such as making origami animals. There are a lot of ideas online.
  • Avoid common candy or snack bowls.

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from someone who's infected through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when they cough, sneeze, sing or yell;
  • close prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases when:

  • the number of people you’re in contact with increases; and
  • the time you spend in contact with them lengthens.

  • Ensure that you’ve read and incorporated the 6 steps to staying safe into your planning as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild. Try to connect remotely.
  • If you become ill while at a Thanksgiving event, you should go home immediately.
  • Maintain physical distancing – keep a minimum of 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who’s not a member of your social bubble.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as handrails, door knobs and door bells.

Remember Yukon’s gathering limits

  • Though your social bubble can include up to 15 people, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people. If your guests are part of your social bubble, you do not need to physically distance with them.
  • Indoor social gatherings of people outside your social bubble are also limited to 10 people who must physically distance.
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 50 people with physical distancing.
  • Indoor, organised, seated gatherings are limited to 50 people with physical distancing.
  • Outdoor, organised, seated gatherings are limited to 100 people with physical distancing.

Feeling unwell?

  • If you’re feeling unwell, even if your symptoms are minor, cancel your get-together and look at other ways to connect which are not in-person.
  • Remind guests who are not feeling well to stay home and connect virtually instead.

Anyone required to self-isolate?

  • If you’re required to self-isolate, don’t host others.
  • Ask guests who are required to self-isolate to not attend and connect virtually instead.

How to gather safely

  • It’s safest to celebrate with people who are part of your social bubble.
  • Visit in larger rooms where there’s more space for people to sit or stand farther apart.
  • Choose well-ventilated spaces (spaces where there’s lots of fresh air) and open windows if you can.
  • Set your table and chairs for physical distancing if you can between people from different social bubbles.
  • Keep music low to reduce the need for loud talking or shouting.

Cleaning and sanitizing

  • Ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, shared items and dishes.
  • Use the guidance on cleaning in your home for tips on how to do this safely.
  • Have hand sanitizer, hand soap or alcohol wipes available for guests to sanitize their hands.
  • Encourage your guests to use hand sanitizer, soap or alcohol wipes when they arrive and before to eating.

Other tips

  • Consider virtual options like video calls or video-sharing to keep your gathering small, while staying connected with more people.
  • Ask your guests if taking extra precautions would make them feel safer. Do what you can to accommodate them.
  • If you have guests who had to stay home because they were not feeling well, consider delivering a care package or plate of food to their doorstep to help them feel more connected to the group.

Thanksgiving gatherings usually involve sharing food with friends and family. Consider these tips to keep it as safe as possible:

  • have everyone wash their hands before and after the meal;
  • seat higher-risk guests in places where they can keep more distance from others, while still participate in the fun;
  • limit the number of people handling or serving food;
  • designate a carver and a server to limit sharing germs;
  • serve drinks and food directly to guests rather than having people serve themselves; and
  • avoid sharing items such as glasses, cutlery, gravy boats and saltshakers.  

  • Try to do activities outside as much as possible.
  • Ensure that the children and the organisers can maintain physical distancing.
  • Practise good hand hygiene.
  • If you’re doing crafts, plan for each child to have their own tools (for example: scissors, paint brush, glue stick, colouring pencils, markers, carving knife).
  • If craft tools are shared, disinfect them between users.
  • Plan crafts where fewer tools are needed, such as making origami animals. There are a lot of ideas online.
  • Avoid common candy or snack bowls.