State and public health officials warn of gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving

Health officials recommend starting quarantine this week if you are planning on traveling

ROANOKE, Va. – With a little over two weeks until Thanksgiving, public health officials and state leaders are asking Virginians to think twice before hosting the traditional celebration.

If you were planning on heading home for the holidays this Thanksgiving, local health experts are recommending you start self-quarantining no later than this Thursday.

“The holidays are approaching and the temptation to gather with other people is high,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, Dr. Cynthia Morrow with the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts says it’s best not to interact inside with others not in your own home.

But if you do choose to celebrate Thanksgiving inside, there are steps you can take to minimize the spread of the virus.

“When you’re there when you’re with folks from other households wear masks inside, social distance by six feet and do the same thing that you would do inside a business,” Director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts Cynthia Morrow said.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam echoing the message during a press conference Tuesday, as southwest Virginia continues to be a large concern.

“We all need to step up our vigilance and our precautions especially as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday,” Northam said.

Health experts also recommend quarantining when you get home from holiday festivities.

But at the end of the day, the department of health says staying home would always be the safest option for keeping you and your loved ones safe.

“When you’re planning for the holidays if you can change your plan if you’re flexible and you can do zoom, do something different,” Morrow said.

When asked if southwest Virginia could see more restrictions because of the rising COVID-19 cases, Governor Northam said the state is working with local health districts on mitigation efforts.

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