Two people meet outdoors across a table while removing their face covering

Updated August 22, 2022



Gatherings with friends, family, and community are important to our mental and social health. Over the last two years, we have learned a lot about how to protect each other from COVID-19. We can gather more safely by taking a few precautions. 

Minimize risks to yourself and your community

As we learn to live with COVID-19 and begin gathering again, remember to 

  • Stay home if you are sick. Whether it’s COVID-19, the flu, a cold, or another illness, it is important not to expose others.
  • Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations and yearly flu shots. Vaccination is our greatest protection against severe illness. 
  • Wash your hands often and clean frequently-touched surfaces regularly.

Consider that some people are at greater risk for severe illness

Think about where you will be and who you will be around. Many people are at a greater risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19. These extra layers of protection can help protect people who are more at risk, including those who are older, those who are unvaccinated, and those who have underlying conditions.  

These extra layers of protection can help protect people at greater risk: 

  • Masks protect you and other people, especially when COVID-19 levels are high.
  • Gathering in outdoor and well-ventilated indoor spaces (with open windows and fans for extra airflow) is safer than gathering indoors in small spaces. 
  • If you have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, watch yourself for symptoms and wear a mask for 10 days. Consider delaying gathering with people, especially if they are at high risk for severe disease. 

Respect the comfort level of other people 

Some people may ask you to continue to wear a mask if you go inside their home. 
Some people may want to wear a mask, even if they aren’t asked to. 
Accepting each person's decisions about safety and how they protect the health of their community is a good way to show that we care.

Guidance may change if COVID-19 numbers go up 

Be aware of COVID levels in your community so you can choose which safety measures you will use for yourself and others. The spread of COVID-19 may affect your decision to attend or host gatherings.

How to make gatherings safer (CDC)

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Recommendations for Get Togethers and Gatherings (336.5 KB)