Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely: Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Page updated on Nov 18, 2020 at 5:44 PM

767 - Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely Flyer The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) strongly urge residents to choose lower risk Thanksgiving activities this year to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks. There are many alternative options to celebrate Thanksgiving while also maintaining a lower level of risk. 


Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of becoming infected and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if you are traveling to areas of the U.S. experiencing surges of cases. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved and precautions to protect others from getting sick upon your return.  


Shopping for loved ones and gathering for holiday events, increase the risk of being infected and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Visit Alexandria offers a variety of lower risk options for shopping locally, enjoying holiday festivities, and celebrating from home.  

Activities and Gatherings

AHD and the City highly recommend these Thanksgiving activities, which are identified as lower risk by the CDC:

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and using contactless delivery to share them  

  • Sharing recipes with friends and family and hosting a virtual dinner

  • Shopping online, rather than in person, the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday.  

  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

AHD and the City do not recommend these Thanksgiving activities, which are identified as moderate risk by the CDC:

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  • Attending a small outdoor sports event with safety precautions in place

AHD and the City strongly discourage these Thanksgiving activities, which are identified as higher risk by the CDC:

  • Shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving

  • Participating in or being a spectator at a crowded race or other sports event

  • Attending crowded parades

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

Find more tips and guidance on gathering safely from the CDC.