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Let's (Safely) Celebrate 2021!

Posted: 12/28/2020
Let's (Safely) Celebrate 2021!

The year 2020 brought hardships and change for many people worldwide, and our everyday habits and behaviors have dramatically shifted. We understand you want to celebrate saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to the new year ahead. But the safest way to celebrate the new year is to do it at home with the people you live with or virtually with friends and family. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others! As you know, travel and gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Everyone Can Make New Year's Eve Celebrations Safer

Do your part! If you are celebrating the New Year with people outside your household, make sure you follow steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Wear a mask.
•    Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19 to protect others and yourself.
•    Wear your mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face.
•    Wear a mask indoors and outdoors.
•    In cold weather, wear your mask under your scarf, ski mask, or balaclava.
•    Keep a spare face mask just in case yours becomes wet from the moisture in your breath or from snow or rain. 

Stay at least 6 feet apart.
•    Stay 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
•    Indoors or outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours.
•    It is crucial for people at higher risk of getting very sick to stay 6 feet from other people.

Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
•    The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you will expose yourself to COVID-19.
•    Avoid gatherings and celebrations with many people who make staying 6 feet apart from those who don't live with you difficult.
•    Avoid indoor spaces as much as possible, especially ones that aren't well ventilated.
•    If indoors, open windows and doors. Use a window fan to blow air out, which will pull fresh air through the open windows.

Wash your hands.
•    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before eating. If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
•    Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home if you are sick.
•    Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
•    Isolate yourself from other members of your family and wear a mask.
•    Even if you don't feel sick, you can still spread COVID-19 to others. 

Get a flu shot as soon as possible.
•    The flu shot can help protect you and your family, friends, and community from getting and spreading the flu.
•    By getting a flu shot, you can also help lower hospital visits and severe health problems from the flu.

Safe Celebrations with Friends & Family

Staying home and celebrating with the people you live with or celebrating virtually with loved ones is the safest choice this year. Do not attend large gatherings this year. If you do host or attend a small gathering, everyone can take steps to make celebrating the New Year safer.

If you host a celebration:
•    Talk with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
•    Limit the number of guests. 
•    Keep celebrations outdoors, if possible.
•    If indoors, open windows and doors. Use a window fan to blow air out, which will pull fresh air through the open windows.
•    Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
•    Have guests bring their own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
•    Have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside.
•    Keep background music volume low, so guests don't need to shout.
•    It's okay if you decide to postpone or cancel your gathering. Do what's best for you!

If you attend a celebration:
•    It's okay if you decide to stay home and remain apart from others. As we said, do what's best for you!
•    If traveling for a celebration, know what to do before, during, and after travel.
•    Bring your own food, drinks, and disposable plates, cups, and utensils.
•    Wear a mask indoors and outdoors and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
•    Avoid alcohol and drugs that can alter judgment and make it challenging to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
•    Avoid shouting and singing.
•    Avoid areas where food is prepared, such as the kitchen.
•    Use single-use options, like condiment packets.

Consider Other Ways to Celebrate the New Year 

•    Have virtual celebrations with loved ones, like attending a virtual concert or performance, planning a virtual countdown to midnight with friends, and enjoying a virtual dinner or dessert with friends and family.
•    Plan a New Year's party for the people you live with. Go all out and decorate, play music, have a dance party, or make it a pajama party theme and watch your favorite movies or play games! Don't forget to make a special meal or dessert with your family to enjoy, too.
•    Reach out to family, friends, and neighbors. Call, text, or leave a voicemail for your loved ones wishing them a happy new year. Or call friends and family to count down to the new year together. Team up with your neighbors and plan a neighborhood countdown to midnight. People who live with each other can stand in front of their house and cheer together at midnight!
•    Watch a live-streamed firework display, concert, First Night event, or other New Year's programming from your home, such as the Times Square New Year's Eve ball drop. Fun virtual events are happening across the United States.
•    Take care of yourself and do something you enjoy, such as reading a book or taking a walk.
•    Support small! Pick up a special meal from a local restaurant to share with your household.
•    Plan an outdoor activity with people you live with, such as a hike or sledding.
•    Set new year resolutions!



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