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Crisis Services

ASERT does not offer crisis services through our Resource Center. If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health distress or thoughts of suicide please call or text 988 for support.

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Safe Practices for Gathering Over the Holidays

Everyone wants to enjoy time with others over the holidays while keeping everyone safe and healthy. By planning ahead you can help lower the risks of transmission of COVID-19 to friends and loved ones. The safest option is celebrating virtually, however if you will be celebrating in-person, consider the following:

  • If cases are rising where you live or are considered ‘substantial’ you may want to reconsider gathering in person.
  • When planning number of guests, make sure your space will allow for 6 feet of social distancing.
  • If you are traveling, travel in your own vehicle and avoid busy rest stops.
  • Outdoor gatherings pose less risk. If you are indoors, try to open a window for fresh air and circulation.
  • Suggest each household bring their own food and drink to avoid families sharing food.
  • If you’re cooking for other households, remember to wear a mask while preparing the food and wash your hands often.
  • If possible, provide food that is pre-portioned, or have one person serve food to guests as opposed to buffet style.
  • Encourage guests to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before and after eating. Also provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Change hand towels frequently, or provide disposable (paper) towels.
  • Wash dishes or put them in the dishwasher immediately after everyone is finished eating.
  • Frequently disinfect high-traffic surfaces like tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, toilets, and sinks.
  • Do not allow pets to interact with members of other households.
  • The shorter the time of your gathering, the less chance there will be of spreading COVID-19.

Check and follow the most recent CDC and PA Department of Health guidelines for up to date information:

Centers for Disease Control Website

PA Department of Health Website


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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.