AHS releases guidance for a safe Thanksgiving gathering

Thanksgiving is a week away and Alberta Health Services (AHS) has released some advice for safe holiday entertaining.

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw recently spoke about the upcoming holiday during a televised COVID-19 update.

“This year, I think we are all very much more aware than usual about how much we have to be thankful for,” says Hinshaw.

“It is best to keep gatherings within cohorts of up to 15 family and friends. Smaller is safer. This is not the time for large gatherings.”

The guidance document, which can be found by clicking here, gives advice on how to keep your guests and family safe if you are hosting or if you are travelling.

It also suggests safe practices for making and serving meals, such as having one person plate everyone’s meal so people are not sharing serving utensils, having proportioned food, ordering take-out or asking guests to bring their own food.

The document shares guidance around activities such as board games, singing, the use of musical instruments and strongly encouraging hosting events outside if the weather permits.

For family members in assisted care situations, you may need to take extra precautions when going to a facility to bring them holiday greetings.

“If visiting loved ones in care, follow all facility protocols,” adds Hinshaw.

The document also suggests considering virtual gatherings if the space is too small for people to properly social distance.

Hinshaw says the most important advice in the document is to cancel all plans and stay home with no visitors if you or anyone in your household is feeling at all unwell.

“Holiday planning can take a lot of time and effort,” states the document.

“This makes changing plans if you feel sick even harder, but it is essential in order to keep your guests safe. Consider having a back-up plan just in case.”

For more information, click here.