This Thanksgiving long weekend families will gather and celebrate with tons of food and laughter.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Keiran Moore spoke on Thursday (October 7, 2021) on recommended COVID-19 measures to keep families safe this weekend.

“We want families to embrace to get together for their mental, physical, and social well-being. Thanks to our collective efforts to get vaccinated and follow public health guidance we are able to gather together with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving this year provided public health measures are followed,” said Moore.

Moore wants to remind people if they choose to host an indoor in-person social gathering that only 25 people are allowed as per Step Three of the provinces Roadmap to reopen.

“The fewer people who gather the lower the risk of transmission,” added Moore.

Even though indoor gatherings are allowed he is urging residents that outdoor gatherings are always safer and whenever possible use outdoor spaces.

When gathering outdoors with a group of fully vaccinated individuals no face covering or physically distancing is necessary.

The province's top doctor did say though if you are gathering outdoors with people who are from different households who are unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated, he considers wearing a face covering if physically distancing can’t be maintained.

When gathering indoors with a group of fully vaccinated individuals you could consider removing your face covering if everyone is comfortable. With people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance

Lastly, Moore urges people that are sick don’t attend social gatherings, even if they have mild symptoms, and they should get tested.

Below is the full list of Thanksgiving COVID-19 guidelines:

  • do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering

  • use outdoor spaces whenever possible

  • provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water

  • open windows, if possible

  • clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces

  • ask guests not to attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild

  • make a list of guests attending in case your local public health unit needs it for contact tracing

  • remind people of public health advice to follow during the event

  • wash your hands before and frequently when preparing and serving food

  • have everyone wash their hands before and after eating

  • If you choose to attend an in-person gathering:

  • you should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild

  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event

  • consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19

When to wear face coverings:

Indoors

When gathering indoors:

  • with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, you may consider removing your face covering if everyone is comfortable

  • with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or status is unknown, you should wear a face covering and physically distance

Outdoors

When gathering outdoors:

  • with a group of fully vaccinated individuals, no face covering or physical distancing is necessary

  • with people from multiple households who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccination status is unknown, you should consider wearing a face covering if physical distancing cannot be maintained