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Labor Day: Safe grilling and entertainment in the backyard


  A flag, a face mask and a Labor Day greeting

As we enter Labor Day and approach the waning weeks of summer, most of us are anxious about spending as much time out as we can. The Mayo Clinic offers a guide to safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor Day is traditionally a time for last-minute vacations, road trips and barbecues. But with coronavirus still a factor, most quieter events choose closer to home. If you are planning a small garden meeting or barbecue, here are some guides on how to do it safely. We have also summarized some tips for both hosts and guests suggested by various guides and health experts

Here are some useful guides:

Safety tips for garden collections

  • Know your local guidelines on gathering sizes, but all experts agree: smaller is safer – and probably more comfortable for your guests.
  • Check with invited guests in advance about any issues they have. Let them know the "rules" so that they feel comfortable and respect your wishes. For example, rules about social distancing, what they should bring (their own drinks) or not should bring (shared dishes, unannounced guests) and any bathroom rules, such as rinsing down with the seat.
  • Respect boundaries if people reject an invitation. Do not take things personally.
  • Skip hugs and handshakes when welcoming guests.
  • Maintain Social Distancing – Measure the space on your deck or your garden in advance to see how many seats can be accommodated 6 feet apart and the base guest numbers on it.
  • Keep it out. Have a plan to postpone if the weather gets bad and keep an eye on the weather.
  • Wear masks when not eating.
  • Wash your hands often, bring / deliver hand sanitizer.
  • BYO drink or give them in individual jars or bottles.
  • Avoid shared plates, utensils, spices or condiments – things that people handle repeatedly.
  • Use disposable plates, utensils, napkins and place at each seat.
  • Avoid shared dishes and plates. Provide individual portions.
  • Clean and disinfect areas with high contact such as door handles and bathrooms before, during and after the party.
  • In the bathrooms you provide paper towels, hand soap on the sink, disinfectant wipes.

See our previous post: The Basics of BBQ: Take the Time to Review Safety Tips for Grilling


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