With the holidays right around the corner, you might be thinking about how to celebrate and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the spread of COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the holidays will look different this year, but it is possible to celebrate safely, whether virtually or, in some cases, together in person. Find out how to minimize the risks involved in hosting or attending a holiday event.

Along with the three w’s —wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and watch your distance— The Oregon Health Authority encourages everyone to participate in lower-risk activities to keep all Oregon residents safe during the pandemic. 

Gatherings in Person

  • The risk of COVID-19 transmission is highest in indoor spaces without enough ventilation. If possible, bundle up and gather outside. 
  • Limit gatherings to no more than 10. 
  • Limit gatherings to no more than 2 hours. The longer people gather together, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading. 
  • Serve shared food safely. If it is not possible to use single-serve disposable containers, food and beverages should be served by a person who washes or sanitizes their hands frequently and wears a face covering. 
  • Wear a facemask and only remove the covering to eat. 


It is safest to stay home and celebrate, however, if you do decide to travel, follow the following guidelines: 

  • Only travel with members of your household.
  • Drive to your destination rather than flying if possible.
  • Get a COVID-19 test before traveling. Please note that a negative test result is NOT a free pass. Some COVID-19 tests produce a high percentage of false negatives, so even if you test negative, follow safety protocols if you travel. 
  • Wear gloves and a face mask when filling your car up with gas. 

Other Safety Tips

  • While a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available, getting a flu shot ahead of the holidays is important. A flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but vaccinations can reduce the burden of flu. 

COVID-19 Friendly Activities

Just because the holiday season may look different this year, it does not need to be any less special. The following activities are COVID-19 friendly and full of holiday cheer. 

  • Drive around looking at holiday light displays while listening to Christmas music. 
  • Exchange gifts with loved ones via mail or contactless drop-offs. 
  • Try some new holiday recipes. 
  • Engage in self-care. Grab a good book and get cozy by the fire or watch a good Christmas movie. 
  • Reach out to local food banks, shelters, and community organizations to see how you can safely serve your neighbors in need. 

For more tips to stay safe all through the holiday season, check out the infographics below and share them with your friends and family.