The Tooele County Health Department has released information about how to stay safe from COVID-19 during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together,” the county Health Department wrote in a public announcement. “Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
Many families may want to meet together during Thanksgiving and if individuals must travel, they should be aware of the risks involved, said Amy Bate, public information officer and Health Promotion coordinator for the Tooele County Health Department.
Bate said “low risk activities” are recommended.
Examples of low risk activities include — having a small dinner with only people who live in the same household, having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family, and shopping online for Black Friday other than going to a store to shop.
As a low risk activity, individuals could also prepare a meal for family members or neighbors that are high-risk and deliver the meal in a way that does not involve contact with others, according to Bate.
Moderate risk activities, which are not recommended by the health department, include — having a small outside dinner with family and friends who live in the individual’s community and lowering risks by following the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations on hosting gatherings.
Higher risk activities include — attending large indoor gatherings with people outside of the household, going shopping in crowded areas, and attending parades. These activities are not recommended. The county Health Department said that they may contribute to spreading COVID-19.
High. or increasing levels of the virus in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees, according to Bate.
Friends and family should consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when deciding whether or not to host or attend a gathering, said Bate.
Individuals should also consider the duration of the gathering they will be attending.
Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings, according to Bate.
If individuals are traveling, they should consider the fact that airports, bus stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces, according to Bate.