Photo: Paul Hamill Photography
Cold weather usually forces us inside, but this winter, indoor social gatherings are a high-risk activity. Instead, gather everyone virtually on Zoom or head outdoors with your household bubble, where fresh air adventures like skiing/riding or snowshoeing pose a lower Covid risk. For more tips on winter best practices, keep reading.
What are “social gatherings?”
The simple definition of a gathering is when people from multiple households get together, inside or outdoors. The key point here is that gatherings expose you to households outside of your own.
Why are social gatherings just so dangerous? Well, to put it simply, we let down our guard. These intimate get-togethers feel “normal” but it’s this feeling of normalcy that causes us to forgo the safety precautions that are commonplace in public settings. We hug, we spend time with others within 6 feet, we don’t wear our masks, we forget to sanitize surfaces, we use someone else’s restroom, we don’t wash our hands… When these things happen, our risk of contracting COVID-19 jumps up. Remember, the safest way to gather is to spend time with people in the same household or to gather virtually.
Are social gatherings allowed in Truckee, California?
Truckee is under the PURPLE (widespread) Tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. View our KNOW BEFORE YOU GO page to understand the current status and get daily travel updates.
In the PURPLE Tier, small private gatherings are allowed as long as they adhere to the following modifications:
- Masks and physical distancing are required
- No more than 3 separate households may attend (including the host’s)
- Gatherings should be 2 hours or less
- Those with symptoms must not attend
- Those at high risk of severe illness strongly encouraged not to attend
- Singing, shouting, chanting, cheering, or exercising strongly discouraged
Here in Truckee, California, contact tracing has indicated that social gatherings are high-risk for community transmission. Examples include family reunions and dinner parties. It’s recommended to avoid gathering when possible.
Best practices for winter gatherings.
Follow these tips to avoid social gatherings and stay safe and healthy throughout the winter season.
- Stay home if you are sick, exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, or waiting for COVID-19 test results. If you feel ill, please make an appointment for free COVID testing in Truckee or find a testing facility near you.
- Follow all Covid precautions: mask up, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and smile (we can see it in your eyes!).
- Skiing and riding? Share the lift or gondola with your household only. Read our 2020/21 Winter Guide to Truckee-Tahoe Ski Resorts for what to expect on the slopes and trip planning tools.
- Get outside and play! There are so many ways to have fun outdoors with your household bubble in Truckee-Tahoe: go snowshoeing on a winter trail, check out nearby ski resorts and nordic centers, take your family sledding or tubing, or enjoy a sunny walk on Truckee’s 21 miles of snow-free paved paths.
- Respect Truckee-Tahoe trails. Follow the Recreate Responsibly winter guidelines whenever you spend time outdoors.
- Mix up your winter routine. Consider a socially distant Zoom call with friends rather than spending time inside.
- Dine outdoors in winter wonderland. Historic Downtown Truckee comes to life at night with a dazzling display of sparkling lights. There’s no better setting to get cozy and enjoy Truckee’s vibrant food scene. Along with expanded outdoor dining, you can also find an array of takeout and catering options with curbside delivery services for the nights you wish to dine-in.
- Be prepared for winter storms. Check Truckee weather, roads, and webcams and carry supplies to keep yourself and others stay safe, like extra face coverings, hand sanitizer, snow chains, and drinking water. A midweek visit is best to avoid weekend traffic and crowds.
Siobhan traveled the American West as a National Park Ranger before setting down roots in Truckee. Outdoor adventure is her bread and butter and most days you can find her skiing, trail running, or backpacking. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram @siokenney.