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  • Kelli Edwards

Hosting Gatherings or Cook-Outs

Remind Guests to Stay Home if they are sick

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.

  • Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.

Encourage Social Distancing

  • Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).

  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.

  • If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.

  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.


Wear Masks

  • Wear masks when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.

  • Consider providing masks for guests or asking them to bring their own.

  • Clean hands often

  • Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.

  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.

  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.

Clean Hands often

  • Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.

  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.

  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.

Limit the Number of People Handling or Serving Food

  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.

  • Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.

  • If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.

  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.

Limit Contact with Commonly Touched Surfaces or Shared Items

  • Use touchless garbage cans or pails.

  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.

  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.

Attending an Event or Gathering

Prepare before you go:

  • Stay home if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (symptoms of COVID-19) , if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

  • Check with the organizer or event venue for updated information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and if they have steps in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Prioritize attending outdoor activities over indoor activities and stay within your local area as much as possible.

  • Bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy—for example, masks (bring extra), hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and drinking water.

Use Social Distancing and Limit Physical Contact

  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people who don’t live in your household. Be particularly mindful in areas where it may harder to keep this distance, such as check-in areas, parking lots, and routes of entry and exit.

  • Select seating or determine where to stand based on the ability to keep 6 feet of space from people who don’t live in your household, including if you will be eating or drinking.

  • Arrive to the event early or at off-peak times to avoid crowding and congested areas.

  • Avoid using restroom facilities or concession areas at high traffic times, such as intermission, half-time, or immediately at the end of the event.

Wear Masks

  • Wear a mask when interacting with other people to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

  • Wearing masks is most important when social distancing is difficult.

  • Masks are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voices, such as shouting, chanting, or singing.

Limit Contact with Commonly Touched Surfaces or Shared Items

  • Use touchless garbage cans or pails and cashless payment options when possible. Otherwise, exchange cash or card by placing payment in a receipt tray, if available, or on the counter.

  • Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations. Use grab-and-go meal options, if available.

  • Use disposable food service items including utensils and dishes, if available.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer immediately before eating food or after touching any common surfaces like hand railings, payment kiosks, door handles, and toilets.

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