Season of limited-size gatherings Published Nov. 18, 2020 By Lauren Russell 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Holiday celebrations will require modifications during this year’s season of gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public Health officials from the 66th Medical Squadron urge all members of Team Hanscom to comply with local and state travel restrictions before traveling over Thanksgiving weekend. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Andersen, 66 MDS noncommissioned officer of Public Health and Preventative Medicine Flight chief. “If you must travel, it’s important to know the restrictions and guidelines for Massachusetts, as well as whatever states you’re traveling to or through.” Information on Massachusetts travel orders can be found at www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released information about increased travel risks. Officials also say that whether personnel are hosting or attending a Thanksgiving dinner, seasonal traditions should be scaled down to limit the number of people attending. “The lowest risk options include dinner with only the people who live in a home or organizing a virtual get together,” said Andersen. Moderate-risk activities include small, outdoor dinner with friends and family while social distancing. In both cases, personnel should avoid touching shared surfaces and areas where food is being prepared. Guests are encouraged to bring their own utensils and drinks to avoid contact. Massachusetts mandates that indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people or fewer. Traditions outside the home will need adjusting as well, said Andersen. Holiday shopping should be done virtually to minimize exposure to others, and contactless options, such as online shopping or curbside pickup, should be used whenever possible. “The most important thing is self-accountability and making the effort to keep those around us safe,” said Andersen.