West Virginia issues Thanksgiving, Christmas guidance during pandemic


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has issued guidance for celebrating and traveling during the fall and winter holiday seasons.

“If you are going to see your family, we do recommend a few things, such as to only stick around immediate family members,” WVDHHS Commissioner Dr. Ayne Amjad said in a statement. “A few other things to mention are, if you recently had COVID-19 and you may still be symptomatic, or if you think you’ve been around someone who may have COVID-19, do not go around any family members.”

The guidelines recommend maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from people who are not members of one’s household and wearing a face mask around them. People are encouraged to wash their hands regularly, avoid touching commonly touched surfaces and avoid using public restrooms.

Outdoor celebrations are recommended when possible. If the celebration is indoors, the department discourages poorly ventilated areas or crowded spaces. Gatherings with shorter durations and a lower number of people gathering also lowers risks.

If hosting people from different households, the guidance suggests each household bring its own food to avoid a number of people handling utensils. If only one household is providing and preparing food, the department suggests that one person serve the food and wears a mask while doing so to avoid multiple people touching the utensils. It also encourages limiting the amount of people in the area in which food is prepared.

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