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How to keep your family safe while celebrating this Thanksgiving

If you do gather with others for Thanksgiving, it’s best to do it outdoors

Many are preparing Thanksgiving plans that look a little different than years past.
Many are preparing Thanksgiving plans that look a little different than years past.

ROANOKE, Va. – Just nine days away from Thanksgiving, health experts are urging you to rethink your holiday plans.

“Yeah, they’re a lot different. I usually travel to see family instead of them traveling here,” said Amoni Young, who lives in Roanoke.

“We are quarantining for 10 days and then we’re going to visit my in-laws in Atlanta,” said Stuart Robinson, who also lives in Roanoke.

“We’re not planning to go out and do a whole lot with other people. My father-in-law actually already had COVID so he doesn’t feel worried about getting it again,” explained Andrea Simmons, who too lives in Roanoke.

Doctors are urging you to rethink tradition, saying much of the spread we’re seeing now in Southwest Virginia is from smaller gatherings.

“The best thing is just enjoy this year’s holiday within the household,” said Dr. Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie, an infectious disease specialist at Carilion Clinic.

If you do decide to gather with others for Thanksgiving, experts said it’s best to do that outdoors, be diligent about social distancing and agree ahead of time that everyone will wear a face mask.

“We are able to adapt to meet the challenges this virus brings and it’s not going to be forever,” Baffoe-Bonnie said.

Adapting also means understanding that just because you don’t feel sick doesn’t mean you’re virus-free. Baffoe-Bonnie said an estimated 40 to 50 percent of cases are asymptomatic.

“They unknowingly will spread it to the person who may then become very sick and have severe disease from it or die from it,” explained Baffoe-Bonnie.

A warning from health experts to avoid a holiday surge, pleading for people to stay the course.

“We now know there is light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s important we just continue hunkering down,” said Baffoe-Bonnie.

“We’re trying to be safe and as scientific as possible before we go into the holidays,” Robinson said.

“After the holidays, you’re going to be dealing with the repercussions of your choices and I don’t think anybody wants to deal with that, especially going into 2021,” Young said.

Click here for more tips on how to safely gather this holiday season from Carilion Clinic.

About the Author:

Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.