The safest route is virtual. “Cases of COVID-19 are rising across the country to record levels,” said Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Therefore, in-person holiday parties are not recommended, particularly when many people are currently working remotely.” If you do opt for in-person, he’d like you to do it outside, which is “safer than an indoor venue, but still carries risk.”
Be smart on site. Even when outdoors, people need to be six feet apart and continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Wear a mask, maintain a physical distance, and wash or sanitize your hands frequently,” Dr. Taege said. He stressed that it’s particularly important to maintain distance when eating or drinking, as you cannot wear a mask then. Employers should have extra masks, face shields and hand sanitizer available. Cynika Drake, an event planner, advised to “use individual paper towels in the restrooms along with contactless trash cans.”
Have guests get tested before. Ms. Drake suggested having guests take a PCR (nasal swab) test once a week leading up to the event and a rapid test the day of. “However, this still isn’t a green light to let one’s guard down, as the test is only as accurate as the day it was given,” she said, noting that you can get infected the next day and subsequently test positive. “We recommend clients refer to their health care providers for the most up-to-date information and protocols,” she said.
Try a hybrid party. Many of Ms. Drake’s clients are opting for events that mix in-person and remote elements (more successfully, one hopes, than schools). You could have a smaller crew working together on site in accordance with Covid-19 precautions gather for a holiday Zoom and then Zoom in the remote teams. Some of Ms. Drake’s customers are in positions where the partners and senior management are gathering to make toasts to the staff, who will raise glasses of champagne along with them from home.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/style/holiday-party-ideas-2020.html