Why large Thanksgiving gatherings can be so dangerous

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:51 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Medical experts say the timing of Governor Beshear’s new COVID-19 restrictions is important as we get closer to Thanksgiving.

The governor says any private indoor gatherings should be limited to just your household, plus one other household and must not exceed eight people.

We know the coronavirus spreads more rapidly indoors, where people are close to one another. But there are other factors that also make these kinds of gatherings dangerous.

Attendance at venue spaces like weddings, sporting events, and concerts can be higher, but Dr. Ryan Stanton explains that those places can be controlled environments and people let their guards down around family members.

“We just don’t want people to run the risk of this being their last Thanksgiving with family,” Dr. Stanton said.

He also points out that families are physically close during Thanksgiving, especially as they take their masks off to eat.

People feel safe around their families and at home. Dr. Stanton says that’s actually where most cases are coming from.

“Holiday get-togethers, especially larger ones are a big chance to spread,” Dr. Stanton said. “And what I’m seeing in the emergency department now are a lot of households that have COVID throughout the household, family members or it’s been spread from the event they attended.”

Keep in mind, these guidelines for gatherings aren’t only for Thanksgiving. They’re in place until at least Sunday, December 13.

Dr. Stanton says there was a spike after Canada’s Thanksgiving and doctors here in the US are expecting the same.

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