PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you’re thinking about putting out a food spread for your Fourth of July party, health experts recommend putting hand sanitizer on the table to encourage your guests to have good hand hygiene before they start grabbing the snacks.

Since a lot of the popular fireworks shows in and around Pittsburgh are canceled this year, people will likely be gathering in other ways to celebrate. If that’s your plan this weekend, health experts say be smart about it.

“Try and keep the gatherings to a reasonable number of people, hopefully, people you know very well,” said Network Director of Infection Prevention at AHN Juliet Ferrelli.

While most gatherings will be taking place outside, there are still things Ferrelli said you need to do to stay coronavirus-free.

Ferrelli said to have a larger space for your cookout so partygoers can stay socially distant. She also suggests wearing a mask if you are over a certain age or are high risk.

“I would recommend still wearing a mask unless it’s a small gathering and family you already interact with and you know they’ve been social distancing,” said Ferrelli.

While the food is typically the draw of the party, Ferrelli recommends being mindful of what and how you serve it.

“If they’re grabbing a hot dog, that’s better. But chips, maybe having small bags instead of just a big bowl of chips to open up,” said Ferrelli.

If you plan to get together at one of the county parks, Allegheny County said it is taking extra measures to make sure shelters aren’t filled with people this weekend.

The county says they have 98 shelter and building rentals, but the capacity has been reduced by 50 percent per guidelines from the state.

Park rangers and staff will be out and reminding users about social distancing, wearing a mask and other safety measures.

Ferrelli said she expects to see a small spike in coronavirus cases after the holiday weekend, but she feels it won’t be enough to overrun hospitals.

There are several places still putting on fireworks shows for this year’s Fourth of July, click here for the growing list.

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