As the holiday season nears, many people are looking forward to spending time with family and friends. However, given the current spread of the coronavirus, social gatherings pose increased transmission risks, so it’s important to remain cautious, limit travel, and practice responsible behaviors with the goal of keeping everyone in the NBA family healthy. We all have an important role to play in keeping our families, friends, loved ones, and teammates safe this holiday season by preventing the spread of COVID-19.
It’s going to be difficult, but this year we encourage everyone in the NBA family to stay home and limit your holiday travel and exposures. Small in-person festivities with only those who live in your household and virtual celebrations with loved ones is highly recommended in place of in-person gatherings with people outside your household. Use one of the videoconferencing platforms to set aside a block of time to share a meal and engage in holiday fun remotely with loved ones, whether they live nearby or across the country. If you have an after-meal tradition, such as playing games, music, dancing, or going for a walk, you can still do many of these activities remotely.
Should you still opt to participate in a more traditional celebration with individuals from outside your household, please recognize the serious risks to yourself and those you’re celebrating with, and consider the following recommendations, where applicable. Before the holidays, share these tips and discuss your expectations with family and friends with whom you plan to spend time so that everyone understands the risk, can discuss whether the gathering could be held remotely, and if not, their role in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus and we can all look forward to a safer holiday and to starting the 2020-21 NBA season healthy.
Although not recommended, if traveling for the holidays please do the following:
Wear a facemask or face covering as much as possible. Your mask should be a surgical or other medical-grade mask (e.g., KN-95), or a multi-layer cloth mask, and should fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps, be secured under your chin, and completely cover your nose and mouth.
Avoid close contact with others. Maintain as much physical distance as possible (at least six feet) between yourself and any non-household members. Limit any closer proximity to as brief a time as possible.
Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if washing hands is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Consider driving your own vehicle to limit your exposure. Avoid rideshares (Uber, Lyft) and public transportation.
Avoid the busiest travel times, especially if you’re using commercial or public transportation.
Know when to delay or cancel your travel, including when you, a household member, or any of the individuals you will be visiting with are sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or awaiting test results, have had close contact in the past 14 days with a person who has tested positive, have been asked to quarantine, or if your holiday destination has imposed a stay-at-home order or travel restrictions on visitors.
Although not recommended, if having a holiday meal with anyone outside your household, please do the following:
Take advantage of outdoor seating, as weather permits. Consider open tents (not fully enclosed) for family members to socialize or eat dinner together outside with distance between members of different households.
Encourage guests to wear masks when they aren’t actively eating or drinking.
Keep it small. Limit your celebration to your immediate household members only or to a number that makes physical distancing easier to maintain (including during the meal or when sitting together).
Try to go food shopping during off-peak hours or consider utilizing an online grocery delivery service with a non-contact option, to avoid crowded markets and stores.
Clean and disinfect food prep and serving areas before and after holiday gatherings.
Limit the amount of people who handle/prepare food or are in the kitchen.
Avoid buffet-style food and drink stations. Instead, think about pre-packing meals or have a designated, appropriately masked server for food and drinks.
Wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently, including before and after eating or before picking up serving tools or utensils.
Keep an extra supply of masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray/wipes handy.
Avoid travel that requires overnight stays at a hotel or someone else’s home and avoid hosting guests overnight in your home, especially where sleeping areas and bath accommodations are limited or must be shared. If an overnight stay must occur despite this recommendation, please:
Ensure that everyone has their own personal supplies, such as toiletries and towels. Encourage disinfecting high-use items and surfaces.
Holiday Shopping & Gift Giving
Complete all your holiday shopping online to avoid crowds, long lines and conditions that make it difficult to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
Have gifts shipped directly to your loved ones from an online merchant.
Consider using no-contact pick-up shipping services, where couriers pick-up pre-packed packages directly from your home.
Mail cards and gifts weeks ahead of the holiday, to avoid the last-minute rush and long lines at shipping offices.