Celebrate in Safety: CDC Guidelines for New Year’s Eve
After the year we’ve had, we’re all happy to see the start of 2021. Of course, like most 2020 holidays, New Year’s Eve is bound to look different this time around. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 1,258,540 new reported cases of COVID-19 in the past week alone (as of December 29).
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate the arrival of 2021! You’ll just want to take proper safety precautions to avoid the spread of the virus. Let’s take a look at the new CDC guidelines for New Year’s Eve.
Understanding the CDC Guidelines for New Years Eve
Your Best Option: Celebrate at Home
According to the CDC guidelines for New Year’s Eve, the safest plan is to stay home. These guidelines recommend celebrating in-person only with people in your household, and virtually with others.
Luckily, the CDC has some great suggestions for festive ways to bring in the new year safely. Some of these ideas include:
- Plan a virtual celebration with loved ones or friends. This can mean watching a live-streamed countdown or concert. It can also include a dinner via Zoom or Skype.
- Celebrate with those you live with. Spending time with those in your household is one way to remain both safe and festive. Decorate, pop open the champagne, and count down to 2021 together. You can also support a local restaurant by ordering a special meal.
- Check in with those you love. Reach out to friends and family who may be alone for the holiday. Call, text, or leave a voicemail to let them know that you are thinking of them.
Still, the CDC guidelines for New Year’s Eve also recognize that some people may still go ahead with their planned celebrations. As such, their guidelines outline safe ways to host and attend small parties.
If You Do Host or Attend a Celebration
If you do decide to host a gathering, keep it small. Additionally, you should speak with guests and set parameters early. This will put everyone on the same page so people know what to expect. Here are some steps you can take to keep your celebration safe:
- Stay outdoors, if possible. If not, keep windows and doors open to circulate the air.
- Guests should bring their own refreshments, dishes and utensils.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.
- Require that COVID-19 masks be worn, and have extras available in case someone forgets theirs.
- Ask that anyone who has been sick stay home.
- Avoid the spread of additional germs by limiting the amount of shouting and singing.
- Stay six feet apart from people you don’t live with. This should be the case whether you are indoors or outdoors.
If You Are Considering Travel
According to the CDC guidelines for New Year’s Eve, travel may increase the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended that you simply avoid public transportation.
When planning your travels, there are a number of factors you should consider. These include the number of COVID-19 cases in your community and whether you are able to quarantine before you travel. Additionally, you will want to know whether you, someone you live with, or someone you are visiting is at an increased risk for the virus.
If you still decide to continue with your plans, you will want to get tested before and after your trip and consider getting the flu shot. Check for any possible travel restrictions before you go. Bring and use both a mask and hand sanitizer. The importance of washing your hands can't be overstated. In addition, you should always keep a distance of six feet between you and anyone you don’t live with.