Thanksgiving Gathering Tips

With Wasco County reporting nearly 100 cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, reflecting a nationwide surge in cases, the public is urged to celebrate Thanksgiving differently this year.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s two-week “freeze,” running Nov. 18-Dec. 2, directs the public to gather in groups no larger than six, and to draw guests from no more than two households.

Safer still is to stay home for Thanksgiving, and perhaps visit family virtually, or watching sports events, parades and movies at home.

For Thanksgiving, and any other social gatherings, state guidance recommends wearing masks at all times, even in private homes, when around those not in your own household, except for when eating or drinking. Attendees should wash hands frequently, avoid hugging those not in their household, and bring their own food rather than do a potluck, if possible.

Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors, since it can enhance the spread of respiratory droplets.

Encourage people to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, difficulty breathing or new loss of sense of taste or smell) and/or are 65 and older or have underlying medical conditions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also issued Thanksgiving guidance urging celebrations be small, in well-ventilated areas, and of shorter duration rather than longer.