Counties issue joint guidelines for COVID-19 safety in holiday season

Health officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley jointly issued guidelines this week for the holiday season, advising residents to keep gatherings short and small to prevent spreading the coronavirus.

  • Gatherings are encouraged to be held outdoors and limited to three households or fewer for two hours, at most.
  • People with symptoms or the coronavirus should not attend holiday gatherings. If symptoms develop after a gathering, all guests should be notified and tested for the virus.

“When people who live in different houses or apartments are together at the same time in the same space, risk of COVID-19 spreading goes up, even when the people are relatives or friends,” Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said.

  • When possible, residents are encouraged to gather for the holidays virtually and deliver meals to family and friends rather than holding traditional holiday dinners.
  • People are also encouraged to participate in holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah by decorating their houses, attending holiday events outdoors and watching holiday movies at one of the Bay Area’s drive-in movie theaters.

“Please celebrate safely this year and protect yourself and your family by including masks, keeping a distance and staying outdoors,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said.

For pages 2-4 and the full list of holiday recommendations for the 10 counties, please visit

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