How to make your next gathering safer

Respiratory viruses, like COVID-19, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, have been circulating at higher rates this winter. While gathering indoors with many people could increase the spread and number of illnesses, there are plenty of ways to still get together and have fun while staying safe as well.

Stay home if you’re feeling sick
First and foremost, stay home and away from others if you’re not feeling well, even if your symptoms are mild such as a sore throat, cough or runny nose. If you were planning on hosting a gathering, you should postpone. And when inviting guests, remind them that it’s best for all if they stay home if they’re not feeling well.

Ventilate your space
The simplest thing you can do to ventilate your house is to open a window or door, even briefly to allow fresh air in. You can also run your kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan continuously at low speed and open a window – even it it’s in a different room – to provide replacement air. If you have an air purifier, use that during and after the gathering to capture any airborne contaminants. And make sure that your air purifier is properly sized for the room you plan to be in.

Practice good hygiene
Individual public health measures are effective actions you can use every day to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands often, and cough into the bend of your arm instead of your hand to avoid spreading any germs you might be carrying. Wear a well-fitting mask in crowded indoor spaces.

As a host, sanitize high-touch surfaces such as door handles before and after guests arrive, have extra hand cleaning options available for your guests, such as hand sanitizer and disposable towels, and if serving food, consider using single servings of snacks. It is most effective when you use several of these measures together.

Find more tips to help you stay healthy at canada.ca/respiratory-viruses.

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