Tips for a Different, Safer Turkey Day

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This Thanksgiving, gatherings involving more than three households are not permitted, even if outdoors, under the current public health order.

Health experts say smaller gatherings can limit the risks at your Turkey Day gathering, and that’s how most celebrations will probably look this year.

"The best way to reduce risk is to try to reduce social contact as much as possible," said Mitchell Kronenberg, Chief Scientific Officer at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.

Still, even Kronenberg will celebrate the holiday with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. They are two different households sharing a social bubble.

"Sort of a small version of the NBA. Perhaps that could work," Kronenberg said.

But how do you pull it off?

Talking to your guests ahead of time is what Kronenberg recommends. You can even ask them to take a COVID-19 test as close to the gathering as possible, or quarantine as best they can until the event.

Outside the dinner table, Kronenberg suggests face coverings. Then come dinner time, you can separate households, preferably outside. Hosts can use outdoor spaces like garages and driveways.

"I think one of the better ones is to try to spend as much time as you can outdoors. A lot of people barbeque turkeys," Kronenberg said.

Remember not all your guests are equally affected by COVID-19. Instead of a kids' table, how about a grandparents' table?

"This is an aerosol virus so air circulation can help reduce the risk if you can maintain that," Kronenberg said.

To limit shared foods, select one server. Keep plenty of sanitizer and paper towels out.

While there is no safety guarantee, reducing the risks might get us all to the next Thanksgiving safer.

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