Local epidemiologist gives COVID-19 safety tips for Thanksgiving holiday

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 11:56 PM CST
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As families prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, health experts are asking people to eat and celebrate within their immediate households and carefully consider their decisions.

“Each decision that we make about where we go and who we are within our daily lives, we take that with us to those celebrations if we go in-person and that can really increase the risk that someone there may be infected and able to infect others,” says epidemiologist Rebecca Heick.

Heick encourages celebrating outdoors, avoiding indoor gatherings, keeping visits short, and social distancing.

The more people around your dinner table, the greater your chance of spreading COVID-19.

Heick says if we make poor decisions this Thanksgiving, we could see the effects around Christmas.

“I don’t want anyone to be in the ICU or planning a funeral around Christmas Eve because they lost someone to COVID-19. But that is what we are looking at if people forget to make smart choices around the holidays,” Heick says. “The goal needs to be that we make decisions that ensure that the next time we gather to celebrate together that there is no empty chair at the table.”

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