Health dept. alerting families to not gather indoors for Thanksgiving this year

Health dept. alerting families to not gather indoors for Thanksgiving this year
(FILE) Thanksgiving feast (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) wants to remind you to avoid gathering with people, even for an extended family feast.

“We have seen after other holidays an increase in COVID cases, so it’s quite possible that it could happen after Thanksgiving,” TJHD Spokesperson Kathryn Goodman said,

According to the health department, indoor gatherings are just one of the reasons coronavirus cases may spike in the area, as well as COVID-19 fatigue.

“We have heard that people have plans to travel and that they may have family gatherings,” Goodman said.

Goodman wants to remind people to not let their guards down.

“One of the highest risk activities that the CDC has outlined is actually having large family gatherings or gatherings indoors with people from other households, which is traditionally what a lot of people do on Thanksgiving,” Goodman said.

Even if you’re social distancing from others indoors, COVID-19 is a real risk.

“We know that there’s aerosolized spread inside buildings, and when you’re in a small area with your family members maybe 6 feet apart maybe not and you’re not wearing masks indoors then it’s really likely that there could be easy spread of COVID in that room,” Goodman said.

TJHD recommends you hold off on traditional gatherings.

“We’re encouraging people to get creative this year to host their Thanksgiving outdoors if they can have separate tables for different family members and households and to make sure that they’re being as safe as possible. COVID is still spreading in our communities and unfortunately it’s not going away just yet,” Goodman said.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District will be hosting drive-thru coronavirus testing sites the week before Thanksgiving and afterwards to prevent large community outbreaks.

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