CDC and CLCHD offer tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 5:12 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As the Thanksgiving holiday is only a week away, you’re probably finalizing your plans for the holiday. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much here, local and national experts are encouraging the community to keep in mind how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely.

“I think the most important thing we can do is be creative, think about some different ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, because we know this is just not the right time to get large groups of people together,” said Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department executive director, Kathy Emmons.

“We know the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with your own family, and so people need to be flexible. If they get signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and they had planned to travel, then they need to stay home and make sure they are not infecting other people,” said Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz.

Dr. Sauber-Schatz listed some of the ways you can be creative while still being safe including: set up and share a virtual meal, have dessert virtually, share recipes, show people how you’ve decorated for Thanksgiving, virtually get together with friends and family and talk about what you’re thankful for.

Dr. Sauber-Schatz also listed ways to be safe if you are going to have people over including: having the dinner outdoors, wearing a mask as much as possible when you are not eating or drinking and washing your hands often to name a few.

“Other recommendations we have are that people can bring their own food and drinks, utensils, so you can bring your own picnic basket to a gathering, eat outside if weather permits and keep that space. Another thing if you are hosting an event I think that’s helpful is reach out to those attending and set the expectations. Let people know that as a host you’re asking them to wear a mask, you’re asking them to wash your hands,” said Dr. Sauber-Schatz.

It’s also important to think about how the community is celebrating Thanksgiving, because it will affect how you are able to celebrate the holidays in December.

“We don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I think it’s safe to say if we’re rushing to get large groups of people together now, you might as well forget about it at Christmas because the problem is just gonna be intensified,” said Emmons.

Emmons said we can be thankful all year, it’s not limited to one day and we will get through this.

“Really reconsidering where you’re going for your holiday, thinking about who will be there. People who have certain underlying medical conditions, are an increased risk of getting very sick, so thinking through whether or not you want to go to this event and potentially expose someone is something we all have to think about, it’s a personal responsibility,” said Dr. Sauber-Schatz.

Dr. Sauber-Schatz said it’s also important to think about the more than 250,000 Americans who have died from the virus. She said Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for people to check in and make sure their friends and family are doing okay.

For more information on the CDC’s recommendations for celebrating Thanksgiving, you can visit its website here.

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