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Changing Thanksgiving traditions for safety concerns

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:53 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -Thanksgiving may not look normal for most Americans this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This holiday brings family and friends from multiple households, and in some cases multiple states. According to experts, this can pose health threats to those around the dinner table.

“We do know that the coronavirus is spread from droplets and contact transmission from our mask and our noses,” said Great Plains Health Infectious Preventionist Jenny Lantis. “If we touch our masks or noses and then touch surfaces, we transmit those droplets to the surfaces. So definitely when you are with people eating talking laughing, those droplets are going to be aerosolizing.”

The Center for Disease Control has made several different recommendations about gatherings for Thanksgiving. They have suggested hosting the meal outdoors with masks and social distancing, each household bringing their own food and cutlery, as well as not traveling at all and hosting a virtual Thanksgiving celebration.

“Each family is going to have to figure out how much risk they are willing to take,” said Lantis. “Eating unmasked together in a large group is the riskiest thing to do.”

Thanksgiving will not be celebrated traditionally this year for most people including essential workers.

“Some of us would love to pretend for one day even for Thanksgiving that things are normal, but unfortunately at the hospital, we don’t have the option to take a day off and pretend things are normal,” said Lantis.

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