SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -With COVID-19 cases on the rise, the CDC said the safest way people can celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with the people they live with or virtually.
But for those people who still plan to gather, the CDC is offering a long list of safety tips. They include hosting the dinner outside, limiting the number of people in attendance, and having people bring their own food, drinks, plates, and utensils. The CDC recommends using disposable plates and utensils so it can be thrown out after dinner. If people want to share food, health officials say its best to have one person serve the food and do so using plastic utensils. They also say the people who are not cooking should avoid the area where the food is being prepared.
Manatee County Department of Health’s Communications Director, Christopher Tittel, said there’s an added risk of spreading COVID-19 when people from different areas gather together.
“They’re coming from different places that have different positivity rates. You don’t know, again it’s a disease that you could have and not even know you have it. So if you have relatives coming from a place that has a higher positivity rate it could be, I wouldn’t say would be, but it could be that they would have more of a chance of bringing it with them than say someone in your household who is living where you are,” Tittel said.
Tittel said it’s not a bad idea to take a COVID test before attending a Thanksgiving dinner as well as get a flu shot. But anyone who feels sick is should stay home. While many health experts are expecting a spike in Coronavirus cases during the holiday season, Tittel said people in the county can determine what we see locally on the Suncoast.
“This is the public part of public health. We really rely on the public to take these measures so they’re protecting not only themselves, but others around them. So it’s going to be really up to the public and how they adopt these measures and how they take these measures, that’s what going to help determine whether things go up or down, whether it’s a holiday or a regular day,” said Tittel.
Manatee County Health Department is currently working with the Mask Up Manatee Coalition to reintroduce all of the COVID prevention tips to the county as positive cases along the Suncoast rise.