Update - November 25, 2020 
Simple Advice for Staying Safer This Thanksgiving
How to enjoy holidays in the time of COVID-19 
As my family plans for a smaller Thanksgiving celebration this year, I want to wish you a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday.

Most of us know that the traditional large Thanksgiving gathering around an indoor table isn't a safe plan this year.

We've had to adjust our lifestyles since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the Spring and I know we can do it again throughout the upcoming holidays. I have faith that we can keep working to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our friends from the virus. I'm grateful for all your efforts.

Bay Area county Health Officers have put together useful tips on reducing the risk of COVID-19 during the holidays. We are already practicing many of these such as wearing face coverings and social distancing.

But it helps to review, especially as we naturally want to celebrate this week with others. We can still do this, but differently. 

Under the state and county health guidelines, Thanksgiving meals with people outside of our immediate household must be held outdoors, with no more than three households and no more than 25 people. We must practice social distancing and wear face coverings when not taking a bite or sip.

Other advice:
  • Short: Keep your event short, no more than two hours.
  • Small: Fewer people is safer.
  • Stable: No more than three stable households (25 people total). Don't have a gathering with many individual people from many different households.
  • Fresh air: Choose outdoor spaces that are the most ventilated; fresh air is good. A covered or partially enclosed balcony or patio is OK, as long as it's 75% open to the air. 
  • No bathroom crowding: Only one person indoor at a time to use the restroom, and sanitize the room between uses.
  • Avoid buffet style serving; minimize shared utensils or dinnerware,
  • Quiet conversation, no singing, chanting, shouting.
Read all of the advice here.

The safest option is to avoid a social gathering all together, and meet over Zoom or the telephone (wiping it clean between users.) I know this isn't the same as seeing people in person. But it's a sure way to not spread the virus. 

The recent good news about several effective safe vaccines on the horizon gives us hope that we will be able to gather in person next Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone a joyful and healthy Thanksgiving, celebrated this year in smaller but still meaningful ways. 


John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone