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Celebrations and Holiday Gatherings

Section 1

Prevent the spread during holiday season

Gatherings during the upcoming holidays can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening, and household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep yourself, your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.

Note that these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which all gatherings must comply.

outside gathering

Considerations for small gatherings of family and friends

Every choice you make will impact your family and friends, including those on campus. We encourage you to take into consideration the tips and timeline below for celebrating smart. 

In-person gatherings that bring together people from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.

Organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size and take steps to reduce the possibility of infection, as outlined in the Considerations for Events and Gatherings.

To help protect you and your loved ones, here are some tips for holiday health.

  • When in doubt, bow outIf you feel sick, don’t go. Yes, everyone will be disappointed, but this rule is critical. If you have any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 during the previous 14 days, you must stay home and avoid socializing. And remember, other holidays are right around the corner. You can catch up then. 
family celebrating virtually

Who should not attend in-person gatherings?

Showing signs of an illness? Recently exposed to someone with COVID-19? See who should not attend in-person gatherings this holiday season.

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safety guidelines for gatherings

Can you safely host holiday gatherings during a pandemic?

Is it possible to enjoy a holiday meal with extended family or a gift-exchange party safely with friends or coworkers-in the middle of a pandemic?

With COVID-19 cases surging across much of the nation, staying at home with your immediate family is the wisest course, say UCI Health infectious diseases experts.

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travel risk

Is holiday travel safe in a pandemic?

Yes, it is possible for friends and families to visit during the holidays, but it will take some serious advance planning to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 in the process.

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