SLC Mayor, Church Leaders Encourage COVID-19 Safety For Thanksgiving
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall to echo state recommendations for having the safest holiday gatherings possible, by celebrating only with those in their immediate household.
At his monthly news conference Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert gave health officials’ recommendations for limiting the potential spread of coronavirus over the Thanksgiving weekend.
“In order to have the safest holiday gathering possible, you should, in fact, gather with only with members from your own home,” he said.
Mendenhall and church leaders echoed that message of safety during a virtual call.
Mendenhall joined Utah Area President Elder Craig C. Christensen, Relief Society General President Jean B. Bingham and Deseret News’ Boyd Matheson for a conversation on the upcoming holidays and COVID-19.
Utah-area Church leaders advised people to listen to the state’s recommendations, and they reiterated their support for wearing masks.
“You don’t have to all be at a big meal and all together to be grateful,” Elder Christensen said. “Our family is trying to connect that way through technology and really try and get a new spirit of what Thanksgiving is all about.”
Mendenhall said having politicians like herself asking people to adhere to safety guidelines only goes so far, and to have faith leaders reinforce the message was incredible.
The seven-day average rate of positive tests in Utah has hovered just below 25 percent. Health care officials have said people who have COVID-19 and aren’t showing symptoms have a high risk of spreading the disease to others during gatherings like Thanksgiving.
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How do I prevent it?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
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