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Stay safe on New Year’s Eve

Many of us will stay up late Thursday night to watch the New Year’s Eve Ball slowly drop in Times Square. Given the tumultuousness that has come to define 2020, the start of that new chapter should feel particularly gratifying.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shared some tips on how to make New Year’s Eve celebrations as safe as possible.

According to the CDC, the safest way to celebrate the new year is at home with people of the same household, or virtually with friends or family. Gathering with other people outside of your household can increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Here are some more tips from the CDC.

If you host a celebration: Talk with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together; limit the number of guests; keep celebrations outdoors, if possible; if indoors, open windows and doors; Use a window fan to blow air out, which will pull fresh air in through the open windows; clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use; have guests bring their own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils; have extra unused masks available for your guests and encourage everyone to wear them inside and outside; and keep background music volume low so guests don’t need to shout.

Remember, it’s okay if you decide to postpone or cancel your gathering.

If you attend a celebration, bring your own food, drinks, and disposable plates, cups, and utensils; wear a mask indoors and outdoors and safely store your mask while eating and drinking; avoid alcohol and drugs that can alter judgement and make it difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures; avoid shouting and singing; avoid areas where food is prepared, such as the kitchen; and use single-use options, like condiment packets.

If you plan on consuming alcohol, plan ahead to make sure you have a way of getting home safely — whether it’s riding with a designated driver, using public transportation, calling a taxi or using a ridesharing application.