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Thanksgiving Travel and Health Reminders

The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline. Translated versions are available at the following links:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

November has arrived and with it comes thoughts of Thanksgiving and our winter holiday celebrations. Our Thanksgiving break begins at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25 and we return to school, according to cohort schedules on Monday, November 30, 2020.

For many, these celebrations typically include travel to be with family and loved ones or welcoming them to our homes. With COVID-19 still spreading in our communities, we have all been advised to alter our celebrations. 

On November 2, 2020, Governor Baker issued COVID-19 Order #54. This order reduced the size limit for gatherings at private residences in Massachusetts. Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. This order includes Thanksgiving celebrations.


The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19 and that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. It is imperative that you are aware of, and adhere to, the latest Massachusetts travel restrictions and advisories. 

Per the travel order issued by Governor Baker on August 1, 2020, all families traveling from out-of-state and internationally must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. More information can be found here.


Please know that if you intend to travel outside the country or to one of the high risk states over Thanksgiving weekend, you and your child should quarantine and not return to school for 14 days, or until receiving a negative Covid-19 test.  For information about free Stop the Spread testing facilities in other communities, visit


In addition, please remember the health agreement that all PSB staff and families signed for this school year. You must continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and check for fever (100 or higher) daily for everyone in your household. Stay home if you feel ill and keep your children home if they feel ill. 


Included on the following pages are some guidelines from the CDC on celebrating the occasion safely. I wish you and your families a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving.



Tricia Laham MEd, BSN, RN
Coordinator of School Health Services

Everyone Can Make Thanksgiving Safer

Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun but can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu. Follow these tips to make your Thanksgiving holiday safer.

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer. Learn more here.

Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19

  • Wear the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Attending a Gathering

Make your celebration safer. In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer, take these additional steps while attending a Thanksgiving gathering.

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
  • Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates, and utensils.

Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering

If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer. Other steps you can take include:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
  • Have guests bring their own food and drink.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.