CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Health Officials Urge Changes For Thanksgiving Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Nov 18, 2020, 9:40 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2020, 4:04 pm
(University of Utah Health)...
(University of Utah Health)
(University of Utah Health)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With Thanksgiving just a week away, medical officials said the holiday has the potential to be the biggest super spreader event of the coronavirus pandemic because of all the virus already in the community.

They have suggested modifications and alternatives to traditional celebrations. Some Utah families have already modified their plans to keep safe.

“We are staying home,” said Salt Lake City resident Tracy Major. “We are going to be with my folks – my mom and my dad and then my boyfriend – and we all live together. We’ve kind of quarantined together, so we are just going to have a small family affair and Skype with friends and family.”

Major and her family planned exactly what doctors hoped for. They want families to gather only if they are part of the same household, meaning they are living and sleeping under one roof consistently.

As of Wednesday, health officials estimated there were over 53,000 active COVID-19 cases in the state, and doctors were worried about numbers two weeks after the holiday.

“Thanksgiving has the potential to be the scariest one yet, because there is so much disease in our community right now that the chances of somebody coming into your home that has the disease is pretty high,” said Dr. Andy Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah.

Being indoors among more people increases the threat of spread, which was why Dr. Pavia and other doctors have urged alternative ways to be thankful and modify plans.

“(Celebrations) clearly should not, by rule, be more than 10 people, and the smaller the better,” said Dr. Emily Spivak, associate professor of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “Really think on distancing you can maintain. I would also advocate for masks all the time whether inside or outside of your gathering.”

Major said they did not plan on their usual large gathering with friends and extended family.

“We would rather do this now than have to do it next year again, you know,” she said.

Additional ways doctors suggest embracing Thanksgiving safely is by engaging with neighbors by dropping off a pie or cooking with a family member or friend while on a Zoom call.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
2 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
...
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Health Officials Urge Changes For Thanksgiving Amid COVID-19 Pandemic