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How to stay safe while having family gatherings during pandemic

Dr. Jeff Duchin, the public health officer at King County, said that social events pose particular risks for spreading coronavirus.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video aired at an earlier date. 

As summer starts to wind down and more state coronavirus restrictions are lifted, people may be more inclined to meet up with family and friends who they haven't seen in months. 

Public Health King County - Seattle officials say they've seen an increase in coronavirus cases with parties and gatherings at homes. 

Dr. Jeff Duchin, the public health officer at King County, said that social events are particularly risky to spread the virus. However, that doesn't mean you need to forgo them completely.

"We don't recommend gathering with a group larger than five outside the household. Close contact with others at six feet or less is risky. Avoid small, closed air spaces that are not well ventilated and always wear a mask when you're with someone who's not part of your household," Duchin said. 

When it comes to outdoor grilling and eating, Duchin said it helps if guests bring their own utensils or use disposable ones. If you're setting the table, make sure your hands are washed and that you wipe down the surfaces beforehand.

Duchin suggested keeping a roll of paper towels in the bathroom for drying hands and keeping sanitized wipes nearby so someone could wipe down the surfaces they touched. If there is a window in the bathroom, open it for ventilation. 

"We're in this for the long haul. The way to get through this thing safely is small groups, large distances in between people and good ventilation," Duchin said. 

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