How to turn down a Thanksgiving invite during COVID-19 pandemic

Long, indoor gatherings with lots of people pose more of a risk than short, outdoor shindigs

Tips on how to turn down a holiday invite during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning for Thanksgiving during the pandemic can be tough. It’s such an important holiday for so many families but what are you supposed to do and how do you turn down that family invite for a “Friendsgiving dinner”?

Before you make a decision, it’s important to figure out how to stay safe.

On Nov. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention updated guidelines for holiday celebrations. The takeaway: in-person gatherings pose varying levels of risk.

Long, indoor gatherings with lots of people pose more of a risk than short, outdoor shindigs with a select few.

Another factor: the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in the community of celebration.

In most states, up-to-date statistics on case numbers and community spread can be found on the area’s health department website – we have the latest information on

If you opt in you’re going to want to know what you’re getting into, and some of these questions include: how frequently have you come into close contact with people outside of your household? To what extent are you wearing facial coverings and maintaining safe distance from others when you are out and about? Where outside your immediate neighborhood have you traveled in the last month?

If you opt to bail on tradition this year, etiquette experts said it’s a good idea to express your choice as a personal one.

Say things like I don’t feel safe – or I don’t want to endanger you.

There are plenty of alternatives to getting together with family members for a traditional celebration this year.

2020 has been the year of virtual meetings... so zoom thanksgiving shouldn’t be out of the question. The important part is being smart and keeping your loved ones safe.

About the Authors:

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer at KSAT. Before joining the team, she was a producer and video editor at KIII-TV and a radio intern in Corpus Christi. She graduated from Del Mar College with an Associate's degree in political science and liberal arts. Roslyn is family-oriented and loves spending time with her fiancé and chihuahua Paco.

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.