Dr. Harris Gives Advice For Safe Thanksgiving Gatherings

Dr. Harris Gives Advice For Safe Thanksgiving Gatherings


In Oregon, Thanksgiving dinners are to be held to under 6 people. Kentucky says to limit Thanksgiving dinner to no more than 2 households. Pennsylvania is requiring masks be worn indoors in people’s own houses.

Chicago is limiting turkey dinners to no more than 10 in one location. With US COVID-19 hospitalizations at an all-time high today and an ORANGE status for Floyd County.

What is a rational nonpartisan approach for our community?

The Center for Disease Control [CDC] has issued straight forward guidance: limit Thanksgiving celebrations to home events with the people you have lived with for the preceding two weeks.

This specifically doesn’t include a student home from college or those home from military service. The CDC recommends against Thanksgiving travel, noting that staying home is the safest option. “Amid this critical phase, the CDC is recommending against travel during the Thanksgiving period “says Dr. Henry
Walke, COVID-19 Incident Manager.

Many have expressed concerns and threats of noncompliance to the Floyd County Health Department [FCHD] and its Health Officer, Dr. Tom Harris, regarding Holiday gatherings restrictions.

While the CDC recommendations are correct and consistent with public health mitigation measures, many may find
these recommendations unpalatable. Fortunately, there are additional ways to limit the risk to families
and the medically vulnerable.

The standard protective measures are especially valuable during the Holidays. Wearing masks when not eating or drinking can lower the risk of spread, as can frequent hand washing or sanitizer use. Social distancing in the home, particularly for the elderly and medically vulnerable, is also essential. Limiting
traffic in the kitchen, avoiding buffet style food service, considering the use of single-use items like utensils and condiments, and spreading out diners are all specific feast related interventions that can reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The American Automotive Association [AAA] estimates that 30 million Americans will travel during the Thanksgiving celebration. Public Health exists not to limit freedoms, but to limit disease and promote Community well-being. The FCHD encourages all citizens to include protecting their loved ones in their
Holiday planning.

For additional information contact the FCHD AT 812-948-4726, ext. 655 or online at floydcounty.in.gov.