Many Hoosiers heeding health expert advice for Thanksgiving

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Health officials are warning of a spike in COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving, particularly if people don’t play it safe. Their advice for the holiday is as follows: Stay home. Don’t travel. If you must gather, do it outdoors.

So, not the big family Thanksgiving traditions of years past.

“I would have my family over and we would have a rather large gathering upwards of 30, 40 people sometimes, but this year that’s all been canceled,” said Quinton Ellis. His family is postponing the family affair to the springtime.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not telling people to cancel their Thanksgiving dinners, but is strongly recommending they be smart and careful. Right now, diagnosed infections, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing across the country.

Health experts are recommending that people keep Thanksgiving dinners limited to their immediate family, sit six feet apart, wear masks, and have just one person serving the food. Not everyone is following the advice to the tee, but people are keeping their dinners smaller.

“This year we’re keeping it very small, just everyone in our household,” said Stephanie Bagley. “We’re really sorry that we can’t get together with everyone, but we just want to make sure that everyone’s safe.”

Mark Kiefer is looking out for his mother.

“My mom who is close to 90, I’m not letting her come,” he said. “I’m just terrified. She’s had two friends come down with COVID and I just don’t want her there.”

The community will know how well people listened to expert advice after the holiday.

“I hope everyone does what they can to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Bagley said. “I guess we’ll just have to wait until the numbers after the holidays to see how things are.”

The warnings from health leaders do have precedent. COVID-19 spikes were seen after Memorial Day and July 4th, despite blunt warnings from health authorities.

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