Small and Large Gatherings
Small gatherings are informal in nature and may occur with family and friends you regularly socialize with, often at someone’s residence. They typically do not involve long distance travel. Small gathering guidance might be more appropriate for social gatherings that are more intimate with close friends and family, such as small holiday parties, family dinners, and special celebrations.
Large gatherings bring together many people from multiple households in a private or public space. Large gatherings are often planned events with a large number of guests and invitations. They sometimes involve lodging, event staff, security, tickets, and long-distance travel. Large events might be events such as conferences, trade shows, sporting events, festivals, concerts, or large weddings and parties.
Steps Everyone Can Take to Make Gatherings Safer
If you are attending a gathering, think about the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19.
- If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- If you are fully vaccinated, see When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.
Know how to protect your family if you have members who are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice.
- Have a virtual gathering, like a virtual party, concert or sporting event with friends and family.
- If you do gather with people who don’t live with you, gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor gatherings.
- Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Know what to do if your family has members or are vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Know public safety measures in place at the venue.
- Check with the organizer or event venue for updated information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
- Choose events that take place outside with enough space for attendees to stay at least 6 feet apart.
What to do if You Become Sick after Attending a Gathering
- Attending a large gathering or event increases your chance of being in close contact with people outside your household and being exposed to COVID-19. If you had close contact with people you don’t live with:
- Know when to get tested for COVID-19. You can visit your state or health department’s website to look for the latest local information on testing.
- Know when to quarantine.
- If you are unvaccinated
- If you are fully vaccinated
- Get tested 3-5 days after the exposure, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
- Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following the exposure or until your test result is negative.