Factors That Affect the Risk of Your Holiday Gathering

There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19 at a holiday celebration. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk, so it is important to consider them individually and together:

  • Community levels of COVID-19: Review the MI Safe Start map before you have gatherings to know the level of viral spread in your community and the communities where your guests may be traveling from. If there is community spread, refrain from hosting or attending a holiday gathering. Consider a virtual gathering using online meeting software instead.
  • The location of the gathering: Indoor gatherings generally pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than those with good ventilation, such as those with open windows or doors.
  • The duration of the gathering: Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
  • The number of people at the gathering: Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. The November 18, 2020 MDHHS Emergency Epidemic Order states that indoor gatherings should be 10 people or less, 2 households to limit or reduce the number of contacts and risk for spreading the virus.
  • The behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering: Gatherings with attendees who are not adhering to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask wearing, hand washing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than gatherings with attendees who are engaging in these preventive behaviors.
  • The behaviors of attendees during the gathering: Gatherings with preventive measures, such as mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, in place pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented.