Updated December 17, 2020

COVID-19 is still spreading in our community and no gathering is without risk. It can be tough to change the way we visit with family and friends and to not celebrate holidays in the same way we are used to. Each get-together increases your chance of getting or spreading the virus to people you live with and the people you’ll see. Older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions are especially vulnerable.

What we know about how the virus spreads (CDC)»

Consider these tips for ways to celebrate holidays and traditions more safely (CDC)»

Requirements for gatherings

Multnomah County falls into the “Extreme Risk” category based on the Governor’s new health and safety framework. Guidelines for gatherings in Extreme Risk counties are:

  • Indoor and outdoor social and at-home gatherings will continue to be restricted to 6 people max, with a recommended limit of 2 households.
  • Indoor faith gatherings are restricted to max 25% capacity or 100 total (whichever is smaller), or 150 outdoors.
  • Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and outdoors when you can’t keep 6 feet from others.
  • If you feel sick, stay home and away from others

Stay home if you

Indoor gatherings are not recommended

As the days get colder it will become more challenging to meet up outdoors. Consider meeting online instead. Indoor gatherings with people you don’t live with are high risk. If you do meet indoors, open windows and doors whenever possible. Use other strategies to improve air circulation. Well ventilated spaces are safer.

To make gatherings safer

  • Keep it small - Limit the number of people you spend time with outside your household, and the number of gatherings you attend.
  • Keep it the same - Hang out with the same group of people rather than mixing it up. A small social circle is safer.
  • Keep it short - Limit the amount of time you spend with people outside your household, especially if meeting indoors.
  • Meet outdoors - The risk of getting or passing the virus is lower outside than inside. Fresh air and the ability to spread out can keep you all safer.
  • Wear a face covering indoors and anytime you are outdoors but closer than 6 feet from others.
  • Stay 6 feet away from those you don’t live with and use waves or hand signals to greet guests.
  • Wash your hands before and after hanging out.
  • Try not to touch surfaces and disinfect them after each use.
  • Limit sharing of food, drink, and utensils. 
  • Avoid singing, chanting, or shouting inside. If you do, wear masks, give people space, and open windows.

Plan ahead with friends and family

Make a plan ahead of time with the people you are going to see. Agree on rules that can keep everyone safer.

  • Tell guests to bring everything they need. 
  • Have plenty of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Ask everyone to wear a face covering whenever they are not eating and encourage others to do the same. Have extra disposable face coverings on hand (don't share face coverings).
  • Keep a list of who attends. If someone later tests positive for COVID-19, public health may need this information for contact tracing.

After your gathering

Traveling and Out-of-Town Guests

  • Travel increases your chance of getting or spreading COVID-19. Avoid traveling or hosting overnight guests. CDC travel safety tips»