With COVID–19 cases rising locally, public-health officials are urging residents to exercise caution this Thanksgiving and avoid activities that pose the highest risk for spreading the virus to loved ones.
“We are strongly discouraging multiple households from gathering indoors this Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Denise Bonds, acting director of the Rappahannock Area Health District. “We instead recommend people find creative ways to celebrate safely, either through enjoying turkey together over Zoom, dropping off food to family members or moving celebrations outside with masks and distancing measures in place.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list large indoor gatherings, featuring potlucks or buffets with people from outside their household, as one of the highest-risk activities for the holiday. Other activities in the same category include places with large crowds such as stores, parades, running events and sports; contact with anyone who is sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19; and consuming alcohol, which leads to altered judgment and riskier behaviors, according to the CDC and the Public Health Communications Collaborative.
The safest observances during the pandemic are those shared among people in their own households, the CDC states. People are encouraged to host a virtual dinner and share recipes, if not the actual meal, with family and friends and to put up favorite decorations and share those online.