Some of Ontario's guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving in groups

·2 min read

This weekend's Thanksgiving celebrations in Ontario may look a little more normal than they did last year, the province's top public health official said Thursday, but there are still some precautions those marking the holiday should take.

Here are some of Dr. Kieran Moore's guidelines for those celebrating with people from outside their household:

If possible, go virtual

Moore says virtual celebrations are still the safest option, particularly for those who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Smaller is better

The chief medical officer of health says smaller gatherings are always safer, and it's important to follow public health rules. That means indoor gatherings should be capped at 25, and those outdoors can't exceed 100.

"Have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering," provincial guidelines read.

Keep it clean

Ensure hand sanitizer, soap and water are accessible so everyone can wash their hands frequently, particularly when preparing and serving food, and before and after eating.

Event organizers should also clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces.

If in doubt, stay home

Moore says anyone with any symptoms -- even if they're mild -- should stay home, lest they spread the virus to their loved ones.

He says those who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated should also consider attending virtually or not at all.

Wear a mask

Moore notes that anyone can wear a mask or keep a physical distance if it feels right, regardless of their vaccination status.

But he said it's more important to wear a face covering and keep a distance when some people at an indoor gathering are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.

Those attending outdoor gatherings with people who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask if it's not possible to keep a physical distance.

Moore said it's OK for a group of fully vaccinated people gathering together to take off the masks, if everyone is comfortable with that.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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