New ideas and advice on celebrating Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

LA CROSSE/EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Thanksgiving is only two weeks away and the growing number of COVID-19 cases in western Wisconsin has health officials asking the public to change their holiday plans. First News at Nine’s Maria Blough has advice and ideas from local health experts.

Governor Evers said, “Unfortunately with the holidays just around the corner, we recommend that you plan to celebrate just with your own household.”

In a speech to the state on Tuesday, Governor Evers asked Wisconsinites to reconsider their thanksgiving plans. On Monday, the CDC released its own guidelines for the holiday, saying it’s okay to celebrate but to do it with COVID-19 in mind.

They say the safest plan on turkey day is to celebrate with only those living in your household.

Audrey Boerner, ECCHD PIO, said, “It’s the best way to protect yourself, it’s the best way to protect others. You might have the virus and you could feel healthy and if you travel you could bring it to the people that you see over the holiday.”

For those who still want to gather in-person, taking the party outside may be an option. Emergency physician Paul Horvath suggests doing activities unrelated to the typical turkey dal meal like going for a walk outside.

Horvath said, “I think in general there’s opportunities to be creative to lower those risks by doing outdoor activities that are lower risk than indoor activities by doing things virtually as we’re doing on Zoom today sharing a meal that way.”

Boerner agrees that a virtual meal may be the way to go this year.

“That was something my family did over Easter as we prepared different breakfast items and then we shared an Easter breakfast together over zoom, so it’s possible to do that as well,” said Boerner.

This may be best option for those the CDC says should skip the in-person gatherings like those who have or have been exposed to COVID-19 as well as those who are at a high risk of severe illness from the virus.

Health experts say follow local health guidelines to stay safe this Thanksgiving.

In Eau Claire, Maria Blough, First News at Nine.

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