To gather or not to gather? Looking ahead to the Christmas holiday

Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 6:58 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With just 11 days until Christmas, are you still deciding what to do with your family and friends? The health department shares what you can do to keep your loved ones safe, and what they learned from the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We have traced a lot of Thanksgiving outbreaks back to self-reported gatherings, both friends and family gatherings, but typically larger groups - larger than the governor’s new recommendations,” said Rebekah Butterfield with the Richmond City Health District.

Butterfield says they’re currently averaging about 75 new cases a day, and they’re seeing about 50 to 60 outbreaks each week; those outbreaks are involving more and more people.

“Because of the outbreaks that we saw post-Thanksgiving, I think it’s important as we look towards Christmas to think about who we’re going to be gathering with and to live with, to consider the people that may or may not be exposed, especially those more vulnerable people in our population,” she said.

Butterfield recommends, if you are choosing to gather for Christmas, you should start preparing now.

“Getting tested at this point and then quarantining until you travel is probably the wisest course of action. Another option is to sit outside and have your gathering outside to remain physically distant,” said Butterfield

Remember, starting Monday the governor dropped the gathering limit from 25 to 10 people. The mask mandate also expanded to those gathering inside and those outside who cannot remain six feet apart.

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