BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET)– As the number of coronavirus cases skyrockets ahead of the holidays, health experts warn against a traditional Thanksgiving. In fact, the CDC says holiday gatherings could lead to an increase in COVID-19 infections, so your turkey dinner could look different this year. Today the state saw a record 18,350 new coronavirus cases, shattering the previous record by more than 3,000. That concerns health experts, who say holiday gatherings could lead to more infections.
“The safest way to enjoy Thanksgiving is with your own household,” said Michelle Corson, the Public Information Officer for the Kern Public Health Department. “And trying to have some virtual interaction with your family is the number one recommended way, especially for those that are vulnerable and have compromised immune systems.”
If you decide to celebrate in person, social distancing and masks could help keep your family safe. But these aren’t the only ways to keep COVID-19 from becoming an unwanted guest at your dinner table.
“You’re going to want to really focus on trying to open windows and trying to increase the ventilation, air circulation,” said Corson. “Having one person serve the food, and having disposables. You know use more paper plates plastic spoons and forks.”
Braving the cold could be even safer than serving dinner indoors, allowing even less exposure. Experts recommend outdoor meals, with gatherings limited to a maximum of three households. Some Bakersfield residents say they would love to have a traditional Thanksgiving, but plan to make sacrifices to stay safe.
“We’re not going to visit family this year,” said Aaron Eaton, a Bakersfield resident. “This year we’re just staying home, gathering everybody that’s living in our household to keep everybody safe, keep the kids safe, keep us safe.”
The CDC expects a deadly winter due to COVID-19. So until a vaccine becomes available, doctors say the safest way to cut turkey with your family this year is online.