EDMONTON -- With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Dr. Deena Hinshaw has advice on how to celebrate safely with your loved ones amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chief medical officer of health would prefer if Albertans had Thanksgiving dinner online or kept their gatherings within their 15-person cohort.

"Smaller is safer," she said. "This is not the time for large gatherings."

Other tips Hinshaw released in her advice for safe holiday entertaining include encouraging people to limit their contact with others two weeks before Thanksgiving and to cancel or ask guests to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Hinshaw also recommends:

  • Ensuring there is proper ventilation and to keep the windows open, weather permitting;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces;
  • If there are people from more than one cohort, having enough room to practice physical distancing and wearing masks when not eating or drinking;
  • Making hand sanitizer available;
  • Choosing one person to serve food, bringing your own food or getting takeout

"A few common-sense precautions will help keep everyone safe," Hinshaw said.

Albertans travelling are advised to limit contacts and to be symptom-free for two weeks before their trip, and to be aware of the health restrictions in the communities they plan to visit.

Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12.