The Pasadena Health Department has tips for a healthy Thanksgiving festival



PASADENA, California – The Pasadena Department of Health (PPHD) encourages the public to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for everyone during Thanksgiving celebrations. If all participants are fully vaccinated, the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus is significantly reduced. It is safest to only meet members of your household in person and have a virtual party with other family members and friends, especially if you have loved ones with compromised immune systems or are not fully vaccinated and are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 .

For people who want to celebrate in person, these recommendations offer additional protection:

  • Encourage everyone 5 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. This includes recommended extra doses or booster doses. Encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine too.
  • Stay local until everyone in your household is fully vaccinated. If you are traveling with unvaccinated family members, including young children, follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel advice. These include testing 1-3 days before travel, testing 3-5 days after travel, and post-travel self-quarantine for unvaccinated individuals.
  • If possible, gather outdoors. It is safer outside than inside, especially when the mask is removed for eating and drinking. If you can, plan to at least have the food and drinks outside. If outdoors isn’t possible or practical, improve airflow indoors. Open windows and doors, use fans and portable air purifiers, run the heater and air. Be sure to upgrade or replace filters.
  • Keep your gathering small. Avoid mixing up with many different families. Don’t be afraid to inquire about vaccination status and current risks before attending a Thanksgiving gathering.
  • Stay away if you are sick or have had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 10 days. If you’re sick or have symptoms (including mild symptoms), get tested and stay away from others. Do not host or attend the face-to-face meeting.
  • Take a COVID-19 test before joining others. This extra precaution is a good idea when you are congregating with people who are at high risk of developing serious illness from COVID, especially if you or others in the congregation are not fully vaccinated or have been in crowded indoor spaces in the past two weeks have stopped.
  • Wear face masks when you meet people who do not belong in your household, except when eating and drinking, indoors. Bring a mask to wear outside if the congregation is crowded, especially for those who are not vaccinated or are at increased risk of developing a serious illness (e.g., older adults and those with certain medical conditions).
  • Keep your distance while eating unless everyone is fully vaccinated. If possible, adjust the tables so that people from the same household sit together and keep non-household members away. This is especially important if you are eating indoors.
  • Take extra precautions when meeting with people from other parts of the country or from different households that include people who are not vaccinated or who are at high risk of disease.
  • Keep your COVID-19 risk low a few weeks in advance (e.g. avoid overcrowded indoor spaces) and / or get tested before joining the group. Schedule a virus test as close as possible before the event. A rapid test, including a self-test, could be used for this. If you are given a laboratory PCR test, make sure the result is available on time.
  • Keep your hands clean. Clean hands before and after preparing food. Have hand sanitizer available for guests. Remind children not to touch their faces or eat with unclean hands. Consider assigning servers to reduce the number of people touching shared serving utensils before eating.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 is more likely to spread in enclosed spaces with poor airflow, in crowded places where many people from different households live, and in close contact situations, especially when people are talking or laughing close together. Reduce your risk by avoiding these settings.

Everyone aged 5 and over should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. For more information and to register for upcoming clinics, visit the PPHD website or

Stay Connected to the City of Pasadena! Visit us online at; Follow us on Twitter at @PasadenaGov and Instagram and Facebook at @CityOfPasadena; or call the Citizens Service Center Monday through Friday during business hours at (626) 744-7311.

Recipe for Thanksgiving 2021 graphic with a list of tips to reduce your risk of COVID-19 transmission



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