CDC: Host Thanksgiving Dinner Virtually or Outside During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends Americans host Thanksgiving Dinner virtually or outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread,” the CDC announced in a new list of recommendations for celebrating Thanksgiving in 2020.

The guidance suggests Americans schedule a time to share a meal together virtually over a computer, rather than invite people to their homes.

“Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared,” the list recommends.

The guidance also encourages Americans to just stay at home, watch sports and movies, or “find a fun game to play.” Another option is to leave a meal on the front porch of a neighbor or a loved one, rather than meet them for the holiday.

If Americans do risk hosting an in-person meal with people outside of their household, the CDC recommends it be held outdoors or inside with the windows open.

One illustration features three people celebrating Thanksgiving by standing six feet apart outside and wearing masks in front of a fire pit.

CDC illustration of three Americans celebrating Thanksgiving outdoors (

“If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows,” the CDC guidance reads.

The CDC advises all guests attending a Thanksgiving dinner to wear a mask with two layers and remains six-ft apart from anyone who does not live in the household.

The CDC illustrates what a Thanksgiving Dinner inside should look like with members of different households standing in circles six feet apart from each other, wearing a coat, a hat, and a mask, while the windows remain open and a fan circulates the air.

The CDC illustrates what Thanksgiving dinner should look like if held indoors (

The CDC also suggests having guests bring their own food to the dinner.

“Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils,” the guidance reads. “Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.”


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