November 23, 2020 (5:00 p.m.)

Staying Safe this Thanksgiving Holiday 

I hope you are doing well and staying safe! As we go forward with work and the holidays, please remember the importance of keeping yourself, your relatives and your friends healthy.

As a Public Health Nurse, I urge you to reconsider your traditional Thanksgiving plans as part of keeping yourself and our Rasmussen community healthy. Traditional holiday travel and large multi-household gatherings with communal meals present a significant risk of contact with COVID-19, which in turn may expose Rasmussen campuses when students and employees return to campus after the holiday.

While Rasmussen’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is designed to mitigate exposure on campus, we need your help to reduce these potential exposures by making smart, thoughtful decisions in your life outside of Rasmussen. Together, we can reduce the spread of this virus and ensure that Rasmussen can continue to provide high quality education without interruption.

If you do choose to travel and gather with those outside your household for the holiday, then I ask that you review and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving outlined below.

I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

Sincerely,

Joan Rich DNP, RN, PHN, FCN
Vice President of Nursing

CDC Guidelines for Celebrating Thanksgiving:

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Remember that people without symptoms may be able to spread COVID-19 or flu.
  • Keeping 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Attending a Gathering

Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.

If you choose to attend a gathering, make your celebration safer. In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer, take these additional steps if attending a Thanksgiving gathering:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering

Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.

If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer. These steps include:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.

Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities

  • Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
    • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
    • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.
  • Watch television and play games with people in your household.
    • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
    • Find a fun game to play.
  • Shopping
    • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
    • Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
    • Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others and wear a mask.

Other Activities

  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.

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