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Dos and don'ts to celebrating the holidays in DC during the pandemic

Here are the District's recommendations to keeping family and friends safe during the pandemic.

WASHINGTON — We're almost eight months into the pandemic and before our eyes, it's already the holidays.

Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by city leaders on Monday morning to share some guidance on how to safely celebrate the holidays during the pandemic. The District's goal throughout its response to COVID-19 has been to stop the spread of the virus and to eliminate deaths.

One way to ensure that everyone is following the rules and being safe, the city is encouraging residents to take the necessary steps to keep the city moving during these unprecedented times. Even if they may feel or look a little bit different.

"Remember this pandemic will not last forever we will be able to celebrate together in the future," Bowser said during the news conference.

A general point of guidance for everyone celebrating the upcoming holidays is to:

  • Consider your most vulnerable family members
  • Host small gatherings: Keep gatherings and groups as small as possible and consider the amount of space you have when inviting people.
  • Socially distance: Stay 6-feet away
  • Everyone should wear a mask: don't let your guard down around family. Remind guests to wear a mask or stay home if they feel sick
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces
  • Cancel the event if someone in the household feels sick
  • Avoid traveling: Try to keep celebrations at home


Don't do the traditional door-to-door trick or treating

Don't do trunk or treating

Don't take candy from communal bowls 

Don't do indoor haunted houses

Don't go hay riding with people you don't know

DO oneway trick or treating with individually wrapped candy bags: 

Oneway trick or treating is where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance, according to the CDC.

DO an outside pumpkin patch

DO outdoor Halloween events

DO an online costume party

Note: If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags. 

Thanksgiving/Black Friday

Don't have large gatherings

Don't do parades

Don't do in-person shopping with crowds

Don't travel outside of the District

DO a small Thanksgiving dinner

DO a family video chat for the holiday

DO watch or attend parades from home

DO shopping online for Black Friday

DO find local retailers in the city to shop

RELATED: Prince George's County advises against trick-or-treating

Now that we got some of the recommended guidelines for the holiday, to learn more information on keeping yourself, family and friends during the holidays, click here for a breakdown of suggestions.

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