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Traditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun, and something many of us look forward to all year long, but they can also increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

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Thanksgiving Safety Tips from INTEGRIS Health

Virtual ThanksgivingTraditional Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends are fun, and something many of us look forward to all year long, but they can also increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

That’s why medical professionals at INTEGRIS Health say the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. 

“I'm very worried about Thanksgiving," says David Chansolme, M.D., the medical director of infection prevention at INTEGRIS Health. "People feel more comfortable with the ones they love, and they tend to let their guard down in these settings. It may only be 12 of their closest relatives and friends but it just takes one infected person to spread COVID-19 around the entire room. I think this is another holiday that is going to set us up for yet another spike in cases in early December.” Watch below video for more advice from Dr. Chansolme.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends trying some of these alternative activities instead: Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal by scheduling a time to share a meal together remotely. Share recipes and showoff your turkey, dressing or other dishes to the group. Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch). Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing them with your friends and family.

If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, there are steps you can take to try to make your celebration safer.

If you are a host:

  • Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
  • Limit the number of guests.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.

If you are a guest:

  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils.
  • Wear a mask, and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Avoid areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as the kitchen.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates and utensils.

We realize people have sacrificed so much this year, but we encourage you to stay patient and continue to count your blessings.

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Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Medical professionals at INTEGRIS Health say the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household.

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