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Is It Safe To Have A Small Party For Christmas? Experts Weigh In

What to know if you're thinking of inviting just a few loved ones over.

“Coronavirus fatigue” is real. According to a new poll from IPSOS, half of Canadians says they’re tired of COVID-19 restrictions. Many families sacrificed their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations in October, but some still chose to gather, with just a few loved ones. We are seeing the consequences now in case spikes across the country.

According to a HuffPost Canada story published just before American Thanksgiving, Canada had over 185,000 COVID-19 cases on Oct. 12. But “only six weeks later, that number has nearly doubled, with experts attributing much of the surge to personal gatherings like Thanksgiving dinners.”

So what about the upcoming holiday season, just a few weeks from now? Many families want to know if it will it be safe to have just a very small party by then.

Watch the video above to learn if the risks are high or low, should you host a small family gathering, say, for Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve.

“Unfortunately, although we think these small groups of less than 10 seem to be very low risk, the risk goes up once we’re inside, especially with colder weather, and we have absolutely seen outbreaks among small groups of family for birthday parties or other events already,” says infectious disease expert Dr. Kelly Cawcott, in the video.

Over the summer, we were able to enjoy the company of family and other loved ones outdoors, where the risks of contagion were low. But dining outdoors, for hours at a time, is off the table in most parts of Canada, now that the colder weather is here.

The safe option that families should be exploring for 2020 holiday togetherness remains video chat. “Virtual gatherings are your best, most effective, safest solution,” says Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

So there’s our answer: If we want to keep our loved ones and community safe, we need to sacrifice a little longer. Come December 2021, here’s hoping we’ll all be safely gathering in person with our family once again ― and will that ever be a party!

Watch: Boozy hot cocktails that are perfect for winter sipping

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