Ways to be COVID-SAFE this Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches, we must continue to practise COVID-19 prevention measures. Like most things in 2020, the holiday season will not be ‘normal’. This page will be updated as public health recommendations change.
Here is some advice on how to stay safe this holiday season:
Craft/Bake Sales, Vendor Events:
- When planning events or sales, consider doing them online instead of in-person.
- If hosting a sale/vendor event in-person, it must follow all public health prevention measures:
- Gathering size restrictions
- Keep enough space to maintain 1 person for every 2 m2
- When planning in-person sales/events, consider spreading them over a few days/weekends with smaller numbers of vendors.
- Must follow provincial gathering limits at the time
- Use prevention measures – masking, hand hygiene, and separate seating 2 metres apart (for those not in the same household).
- Do not attend if you are unwell or have been told to self-isolate
- Situation may change as we get closer to Christmas, so acknowledge that plans may need to be modified accordingly
- Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
- We recommend against all non-essential travel to areas that have higher levels of COVID-19 (Orange, Red, and Grey levels).
- Avoid hosting visitors in your household for non-essential reasons.
- Those returning to our area from very high risk areas (Lockdown or Grey) in Ontario, should drastically reduce close contact with others for 10 to 14 days after arriving in our area.
- Workplaces and organizations may have policies regarding employee travel. Review your workplace's policies before making travel decisions.
- More information on travel recommendations can be found on our Travel and COVID-19 page.
Students returning home for the holidays:
- In addition to the points above, anyone living away from home should consider self-isolating or drastically reducing close contact with others 10 to 14 days before returning home for the holidays.
- Those unable to reduce contact with others before returning home or those travelling via airplane, bus, or in a vehicle with others should limit close contact with others, especially seniors and immunocompromised individuals, once arriving home.
- It is strongly recommended that workplaces do not have in-person workplace holiday gatherings or events, particularly if masks must be removed to eat or drink. COVID-19 transmission has occurred at these types of events.
- Virtual gatherings or events are the safest way to celebrate the holidays with co-workers.
School Christmas Celebrations:
- Christmas performances should not include singing or shouting as these actions increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Instead, consider having students perform a physically distanced dance or learn sign language to a recorded Christmas song. The performance could be recorded and shared virtually with parents.
- School-wide Christmas meals can occur, but buffet-style service is not permitted. Staff can distribute individually wrapped or plated meals for students to eat in their classrooms. Food must be covered when transporting it from the kitchen to classrooms.
- Christmas food drives are a great way to show holiday spirit. Collect donations in classrooms and have the items sit untouched for 72 hours before delivering to the recipient.
- Buddy up with a senior's home. Make cards or crafts for residents. Have the items sit untouched for 72 hours and arrange for outdoor delivery.