Health Department Warns Against Thanksgiving Gatherings, Offers Tips for Safer Celebrations

Thanksgiving is just a week away and celebrations are sure to be different this year. 

The Center for Disease Control put out new guidance Thursday urging Americans not to travel for the holiday and to celebrate with just members of your household. 11 19 20 Thanksgiving Concerns Pkg 6

“I know everyone is tired of hearing it, but we’re going to have to do things different,” Health Department of Northwest Michigan medical director Dr. Josh Meyerson said. 

He’s concerned about the spread of COVID-19 during Thanksgiving gatherings.

“You think about what it is, you’re sitting around a table enjoying a meal and good conversations, and that is a high risk activity,” Dr. Meyerson said. “You really need to think about just keeping it to your household and perhaps one other household.”

Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving on October 12. Health officials there say cases hit record highs in the weeks since and contact tracing efforts point to holiday gatherings as one of the causes.

“It’s frustrating having to shutdown all of our lives through the spring, and now being forced to make more difficult choices and knowing it’s going to be a tough winter ahead,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Instead of gathering around the table this year, Dr. Meyerson suggests getting out your computer and doing a virtual get-together.

“We can find other ways that we can have some interaction with our family members,” Dr. Meyerson said. “We’ll use technology, FaceTime or Zoom to talk to each other and make the best of it.”

If you want a safer way to still see your family on Thanksgiving, he suggests a post meal walk while remaining socially distant.

“That sort of activity presents a far lower risk,” Dr. Meyerson said. 

And it’s not just about your family’s health…

“We’re apart of the greater community and we all need to take personal responsibility to help save lives, that’s what we’re talking about here,” Dr. Meyerson said.

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