Party Pointer: Safely Entertaining This Summer

Summer with its bright warm weather just wouldn’t seem like summer without outdoor parties and cookouts. But if we want to entertain this summer in the midst of the pandemic, we are going to have to take more precautions than before. Here are some pointers for safely entertaining this summer.
  1. How do you decide how large an outdoor event you should host? First of all, you need to abide by the guidelines of your state. You also need to be certain that your yard can accommodate that maximum number of guests while allowing for six feet apart. You should be able to easily see every guest from wherever you’re standing. If the guests at any party you attend are congregating too closely, it is perfectly acceptable to leave if you are uncomfortable.
  2. When making your guest list, consider the age, health status and general comfort level of your prospective invitees and family.  If you or anyone in your family is sick — or caring or living with someone who is sick or immunocompromised — you should avoid gatherings. Consider whether the guests you hope to invite are careful with their health before you include them.
  3. Before sending any party invitations, include the note that in the event of excessive heat or rain, the party will be postponed or cancelled. If all the guests you invited were forced to come inside your house, and you do not have enough room for everyone to stand six feet apart, you should not host the event.
  4. Guests should be asked to wear face masks, except when they are eating. If you have waitstaff, they should wear both face masks and gloves. Ordinary household disinfectant should be used before, during and after the party, to thoroughly disinfect all high-touch areas your guests have access to. Remember to pay special attention to your bathroom–guests will probably ask to use it.
  5. In terms of safe food service, avoid having guests touch the same items. Purchase or prepare individual packets of disposable flatware. The virus  can sometimes be transmitted from an infected person to another guest if they touch the same item, individual packaging of meals is not unwise.

    However, sandwiches spaced apart sufficiently on a tray such that everyone touches only their own would work, too. Avoid communal bowls of chips, crudité platters and dips. Individual packets are the safest way to serve condiments; instruct guests to only touch what they’re taking. If you can’t find packets, set up small amounts of condiments in pre-filled mini paper cups.

  6. The best way to provide drinks is in individual cans or bottles guests can help themselves to. Offer plenty of bottles of water for your guests in the heat. If you can’t have a server manning a drink station with pitchers, keep hand sanitizer near nearby.
  7. Be very careful to observe the rules of food safety for hot and cold foods. Make certain your grilled foods are cooked at high enough temperatures and that cold foods are served on ice or put back in the refrigerator quickly enough.

If you are careful, you can be safe while hosting a fun outdoor party this summer! Enjoy!

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