LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a year where everything is out of the ordinary, many long for a traditional Thanksgiving meal gathered at the kitchen table with family. However, with coronavirus cases on the rise, some health experts are expressing concern about what could happen in terms of coronavirus cases.
“Small group gatherings are driving this pandemic right now,” UofL School of Medicine Dr. Jon Klein said.
Should Americans not exercise caution, Louisville Metro Public Health Interim Medical Director Dr. SarahBeth Hartlage fears the U.S. could see the same spike Canadians saw last month. Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving in early October, a few weeks before Americans. Shortly after holiday celebrations, Canada saw the highest rates of coronavirus cases in the country since the first surge in the spring.
“In Canada, they saw spikes associated with family gatherings at Thanksgiving, so we expect that if folks are not following recommendations and there are large gatherings at Thanksgiving, there’s a pretty good risk of some clusters and spikes associated with Thanksgiving," Dr. Hartlage said.
Gov. Andy Beshear implemented new restrictions Friday, ahead of the holiday. Social gatherings are now limited to a max of eight people and are limited to your household and one other. Health experts take that recommendation a step further saying the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to stay at home and eat with the same people you do every other night.
“To be honest, if you care about grandma and you want to have Christmas with her, you better not have Thanksgiving with her unless she lives in your house with you,” Dr. Klein said.
Dr. Klein says, if you do miss your loved ones from a different household, you can always celebrate with them over the phone or a video call.