Are you planning an Easter gathering? Here's what you need to know to prevent a COVID outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Easter Sunday is around the corner and even though millions of Californians have been vaccinated an infectious disease expert says you should be cautious if you're planning to mix between households.

It's year two of Easter Sunday during the pandemic. Unlike last year, we're closer to getting back to normal. But several aspects of life are still like 2020, for instance, many churches will do hybrid services or continue the virtual route.

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"This is our second virtual Easter Sunday celebration. We have brought all our rituals online," said Marvin White, Minister Glide Memorial Church San Francisco.

At Glide Memorial, their service will include scenes from several years back with a combination of 2021.

"One of the messages that I want people to know is that there is still hope. You have to choose life every day," said Minister White. "Still have the message of redemption and resurrection and restoration."

During Easter 2020, Canela Bistro and Wine Bar in San Francisco pivoted to family meal kits. Those Paella kits helped their business throughout the pandemic. Now a year later families are signing up again to keep this tradition alive this Easter.

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"We've realized that we've kind of condensed it to letting people enjoy an experience that they get all of these different things and if they want to add on one or two little experiences that they can," said Canela Bistro's Manager Paul Iglesias.

Paellas are all about gathering and bringing people together at one table. These kits offer that sense of normalcy but for two to three people depending on the kit size.

"Paella was originally created as a Sunday event where you get together and you have a mixture of whatever you have at home," said Iglesias.

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Home is where many are used to gathering for Easter but UCSF's Dr. Rutherford says to take it outdoors.

"If you are vaccinated and you are meeting up with other vaccinated people no problems. If you are vaccinated and meeting up with unvaccinated people from more than one household then you are back to the same old stuff," said Dr. George Rutherford, USCF's Professor of Epidemiology.

According to the latest state data over six million Californians have been fully vaccinated that 21% of the state's population. Dr. Rutherford says that is not enough to let our guard down.

"We have some vicious counter-example from having light at the end of the tunnel. There is a huge outbreak in the lower peninsula of Michigan centered on Detroit. They are almost up to the same number of cases they had at the high of the winter surge with ICU problems," said Dr. Rutherford.

Dr. Rutherford believes if we continue to keep our distance and vaccinate we could be out of the pandemic by the summer.

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