Guidance for Holiday Safety 2023

Health and safety guidelines for November-December holiday activities in the City of St. Louis.


As we gather with loved ones to celebrate holidays this year, it is important that we do all we can to prevent the spread of illnesses. Late fall through winter is traditionally a time for high rates of respiratory illness. This year our region may see high rates of respiratory infections including COVID-19, the flu and RSV, particularly in children.

Preventing Illness

COVID-19, RSV and influenza can easily spread from one person to another during traditional holiday activities where we gather. No matter the holiday, we want it to be a safe one for you and your family.

These are just a few effective ways to protect your health and the health of your loved ones:

  • Protect yourself and your community by getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza.
  • Stay home if you do not feel well, are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, or live with people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • For group gatherings, consider asking guests to test themselves at home before attending.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth in public indoor settings.
  • Open windows and/or doors to allow air to flow when possible if gathering indoors.

Food Safety

Turkey and its juice can be contaminated with germs that can make you and your family sick. Whether you’re cooking a whole bird or a part of it, you should take special care to prevent food poisoning. Follow these steps from the CDC to safely store, thaw, handle, cook, and reheat your turkey.

More information on food safety from the Food and Drug Administration.

Turkey Fryer Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year. Deep-frying turkeys has become increasingly popular, but the new tradition is a recipe for holiday tragedy. St. Louis Fire Department wants to help you use deep fryers safely this holiday season!

  • NEVER operate a fryer in the rain or snow
  • Keep outdoor fryers off of wooden decks
  • Keep fryers away from combustible materials
  • Place fryer on a level surface only
  • Clean turkey and dry completely before placing in fryer
  • NEVER leave fryer unattended

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