Celebrating holidays, like New Year’s Eve, virtually or with members of your own household, who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, poses the lowest risk. Keep in mind that those, who do not currently live in your housing unit – such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays – should be considered part of different households.
On the other hand, in-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk. Organizers and attendees of events outside of their own household should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size, including the number of attendees, and take steps to reduce the possibility of infection.
However, large gatherings aren’t the only culprit. In fact, there are several factors that can contribute to the risk of spreading COVID-19 at small in-person gatherings. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk:
Community levels of COVID-19 – High or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread.
Exposure during travel – Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.
Location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation – like, small enclosed spaces with no outside air – pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.
Duration of the gathering – Longer gatherings are risker than shorter gatherings. Being within six-feet of someone, who has COVID-19, for 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick.
Number and crowding of people at the gathering – Although the CDC does not have a recommendation for a number of attendees, gatherings with more people are riskier than gatherings with fewer people.
Behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Individuals, who did not consistently adhere to social distancing, mask-wearing, and other prevention measures, pose more risk than those who have.
Behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, pose less risk than those without.
At Oxford at Santa Clara Apartments in Pflugerville, Texas, it is clear that we have it all, but we still feel obliged to inform you of essential information. We encourage you to stay up to date with our blogs so that you don’t miss out on local recommendations, new recipes, or day-to-day tips.