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Guide to Thanksgiving During COVID-19 in Boulder

Traditional gatherings with family and friends are fun, but we have to celebrate differently this year. Here’s how to keep your family and community safe.

virtual thanksgiving gathering graphic

Right now, an estimated 1 in 93 people in Boulder County have COVID-19. Cases are spiking dramatically in our county, state and nation, and local data tells us most infections are occurring during social gatherings, even small ones. Follow these tips, guidelines and public health orders to reduce the chances of getting or spreading the virus.

Ideas to celebrate safely

  • The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to spend it with only the people in your household.
  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you.
  • Have people share recipes and swap photos of dishes they prepared.
  • Prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
  • Have a movie day and play games with people in your household.
  • Don’t feel like cooking? Support local restaurants by picking up a curbside meal.
  • Have other ideas? Share them with us.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) also offers ideas and guidance on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving.

Graphic: Did you know? 2 out of 5 people infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms but can still spread it to others

Follow public health orders

On Friday, Nov. 20, the Boulder County COVID-19 status on the state dial moves to “Level Red — Severe Risk.” This new risk level was recently added by the CDPHE and is one step below a stay-at-home order.

This is a critical time for our community. It’s vital that we follow public health orders and guidance:

  • Community members should stay at home as much as possible.
  • Only interact in person with people from your household, meaning those who normally live and sleep under the same roof.
  • Wear a facial covering and keep your distance while grocery shopping for your Thanksgiving feast. Plan ahead and limit to one trip.
  • Most indoor activities are prohibited or strictly limited, and outdoor activities are encouraged as an alternative.
  • Restaurants will be limited to offering takeout food and outdoor dining with only groups from the same household.
  • Some other businesses, such as offices and gyms, will be limited to 10% capacity.

Protect yourself and others

COVID-19 mainly spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or even breathes. Right now, that means staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must go into public, wear a facial covering that fully covers your nose and mouth, wash your hands frequently and keep at least 6 feet of distance from people not in your household. Other information to remember:

  • Do not go into public or travel if you:
    • Are sick, especially with COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are currently in the quarantine period.
    • Have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in the isolation period.
  • People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should consider taking extra precautions.

Stay informed

Be sure to check the State of Colorado, Boulder County Public Health and the City of Boulder coronavirus webpage for the latest information on public health orders, current case numbers and more.