COVID-19 Update: Make it a Safer Thanksgiving

covid-19 response

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NOV. 19, 2020

Guidelines for a Safer Thanksgiving During COVID-19

The pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people, and traditional Thanksgiving gatherings can be a fun opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. But it is important to remember they can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19.


The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, Arlington County is encouraging everyone to take steps to make your celebration safer by following the suggestions and guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Traveling During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together, but travel increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be sure to take precautions, follow the travel guidance and be informed of the risks involved.

Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities

Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are rising, and gatherings with people outside of your household have been identified as an important contributor to the rise in cases. This year, consider CDC recommendations on how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families and communities healthy and safe.

  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community
  • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home
  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch)

Looking for inspiration to celebrate Thanksgiving? Arlington establishments are making sure you still get to enjoy turkey day in a variety of creative ways.

COVID-19 News & Notes

Questions about COVID-19? Call the County's public information line at

703-228-7999, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


thanksgiving safe activities