Health Department Recommendations on Staying Safe From COVID-19 During Thanksgiving

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Hamilton County, TN (WDEF) – The Hamilton County Health Department released recommendations on staying safe from COVID-19 during Thanksgiving. Traditional holiday family gatherings could increase the chance of coming into contact with the coronavirus.

“We understand that families and friends want to celebrate this holiday season,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes, “So we want everyone to know how they can stay safe and prevent the virus from spreading.”

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Individuals and families should consider the following risks in their observances of Thanksgiving:

Lower risk options
Celebrating at home with household members only, using internet technology to connect with family members who live outside of your household, preparing traditional family recipes for at-risk family members and neighbors and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve close contact, watching parades or sports from home instead of attending in person.

Moderate risk options
Hosting a small gathering of non-household members outside on your patio or lawn, while still keeping household units separated by 6 feet. Hugging and handshaking can increase the risk of exposure.

Higher risk options
Large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household, attending crowded parades, shopping in crowded stores. Alcohol use can contribute to letting down your guard on safety precautions.

Travel should be avoided this season, if possible.
Risk of virus transmission increases when travel includes close contact with people outside of your household, airports and layovers, and other public transportation such river boats, cruise ships, buses, or trains.

The more stops along the way, the higher the risk.

College students returning home for the holiday should not be considered household members for the purposes of determining your risk.

For more information about Thanksgiving safety and the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, visit the CDC’s Thanksgiving webpage.

For any questions or information about COVID-19 this Thanksgiving holiday, call the Health Department’s hotline at (423) 209-8383 or connect with the Health Department on social media.